Systems change


Labour’s Civil Society Strategy

on 14 June 2019 , 5 minute read

Labour launched its own Civil Society Strategy this week. Here Tom Collinge, NPC Media and Communications Manager draws out what this means for charities and funders.

Sunset photo of wind turbines by the sea

Three ways to wield power well

on 22 May 2019 , 4 minute read

The role of funders in tackling social problems is increasingly under public scrutiny. With power comes responsibility, but you must recognise you have power before you can be fully aware of how far your responsibilities extend.


How is civil society in the UK coping with Brexit?

By Jane Thomas
on 25 April 2019

Jane Thomas, of the Brexit Civil Society Alliance, explores the Brexit related issues the Alliance is hearing discussed by third sector and civil society organisations around the country.


What are charities and funders going to do about Brexit?

on 15 April 2019

With attention in government and the country at large focused on the policy recuperation and political drama of Brexit, is it time for charities and funders to assert their independence?


Power dynamics in grant making

on 9 April 2019

The top 300 foundations in the UK have combined assets of £65 billion and gave out £3.3 billion in grants in 2018. Do they understand their role in the systems that create social issues and should they be seeking to share or even give away their power?

Sally Bagwell

How charities are influencing change in prisons: What we’ve found so far

on 5 February 2019

In the face of massive budget cuts, turnover in political leadership, and a rising prison population, is there anything charities can do to improve the situation in prisons? Sally Bagwell, Deputy Head of Charities, outlines the findings of new research.


Let’s hear it for a bit of (positive) disruption

on 13 December 2018

What is the value of disruption to the charity sector? And are new innovative charities too often dismissed as duplicating the work of other more established ones?


Embracing the process: bringing theory of change and systems change together

on 14 March 2018

'Charities and funders don’t need to become experts in theory of change and systems change to benefit from them.' A week after we launched our new guide to theory of change for systems change, one of it's authors, Katie Boswell reflects on the process the team went through to create it, and what they learned about thinking big in pursuit of change.

Headshot of Chief Executive, Lankelly Chase Foundation

Let’s embrace uncertainty to tackle systemic problems

By Julian Corner
on 7 March 2018

Julian Corner Chief Executive of the Lankelly Chase Foundation argues that as change rarely comes in the form we expect, our strategies to achieve it should be just as flexible.


Thinking big: How to use theory of change for systems change

on 7 March 2018

Applied well, theory of change can support charities and funders to take a systemic approach to their work. This report identifies five common pitfalls when using theory of change, and walks through five rules that will help organisations to use the approach to tackle complex problems.


Carry on, crocodiles: Healthy disagreement can help broken systems

on 20 July 2017

Charlie Howard, The Owls Organisation & Maff Potts, Camerados

Charlie Howard and Maff Potts both lead innovations that insist we think differently about how people and institutions relate to one another. They disagree about how to work with systems, and they use this disagreement to drive creative thinking about tackling perennial social issues. Here, they are in conversation with Michael Little, the curator of The R Word. He reminds them of a key thing they have in common: that they are both working to adjust context of people’s lives, rather intervene directly.


Making sense of systems change: 3 things I’ve learned

on 23 May 2017

Systems change can be infuriatingly abstract and riddled with jargon. But getting to grips with it provides realism about what creates and sustains social problems. And it helps us challenge our own role within systems: are we solving or perpetuating problems? So argues Rob Abercrombie, who here shares what he's discovered about systems change that have helped him get to grips with approach.