Opening a fantastic selection of gardens across Scotland to raise money for hundreds of charities
3 birds

Our Vision and Purpose Renewed

2016 was an amazing year of reflection and vision and has set the foundation for some very positive change and growth at Scotland’s Gardens (Scheme).

At the 2016 Conference, we invited our volunteers, garden openers, beneficiaries, charities and partners to attend a workshop which was facilitated by an outside organisation, Culture Republic, with experience in both audience development and business strategy development. We sought to find out what motivates them to become (and stay) involved; thoughts about how gardening and charitable giving has changed, and of what role Scotland’ Gardens can (and should) play in the future. Key themes which emerged included:

  • Commitment & roots in our local communities across Scotland
  • Strong interest in health and wellbeing
  • Great pride in the many charities supported
  • Appreciation for our extraordinary community of volunteers and garden openers
  • A reminder that it all must be fun!

Trustees in action

Armed with literally thousands of ideas and suggestions, our Trustees held a retreat to reflect and formulate their vision of where the charity should be in the future, and also how to get there. And updated purpose statement was developed, one which includes our core values. And this first draft was taken to our winter 2017 Regional meetings to be sure that we got it right... Following a few more tweaks, the Trustees approved the following statement to guide our work and our priorities.

Our purpose and vision is to raise money for charity through encouraging, promoting and supporting garden openings, whilst making the whole experience inspiring, rewarding and enjoyable for all involved.

Our Key Objectives

  • Ensure we have a strong District Volunteer structure with a solid base of gardens of all types and sizes. We will achieve this by: providing useful support to our District Volunteers with guidance, training and appreciation, and equipping and supporting Garden Openers to manage their visitor experience and achieve a successful and fun day for all.
  • Raise awareness of Scotland’s Gardens and the beneficial impact of its raised funds with a strong marketing presence and good visibility.
  • Connect and develop existing and new partnerships with organisations which are aligned with and can support our vision, including beneficiaries, charities, partner organisations and our local community.
  • Ensure good governance and financial sustainability with an active and effective governing body.

Our Priorities for 2017-2019

  • Review our beneficiary selection process and reconsider the appropriate split of takings between Garden Opener’s nominated charities and our beneficiaries
  • Update our IT systems to provide better support to our work, including updating our “database” and our website.
  • Establish and roll out a marketing plan to promote Scotland’s Gardens and its events across appropriate platforms.
  • Review and strengthen our governing body to provide the appropriate skills, training, and support to enable Scotland’s Gardens to achieve its objective.
  • Refresh our support for and update guidance packages for our Garden Openers and District Volunteers.
  • Develop a framework to encourage relationships with beneficiaries and Garden Openers’ nominated charities, to mutually promote & assist in our open events.