Organisational Sustainability Programme


An invitation to apply

Organisational Sustainability Programme

Helping you lead change in your organisation


What: Arts & Business Scotland, supported by Creative Scotland, is seeking to recruit a group of established and emergent leaders of culture organisations, to take part in a development programme of focused training over a six-month period. It is designed to embed enterprise and entrepreneurship within all aspects of organisational activities, to develop sustainable creative business models for future growth.

Why: The evidence for the continuing need of these skills to enable the sector to deliver mission and purpose, has been brought into even sharper focus by the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic. There is a need and opportunity to consider what new services and products can be developed or what current activities could be nuanced or re-purposed to provide solutions to societal and economic challenges that we collectively face in this period of recovery and renewal, while attracting investment from new external partners.

Who: Open to established and emergent leaders from culture organisations across Scotland.

Outcomes: Taking part in this programme will enable participants to know how they can make their organisation more sustainable, and actively initiate/lead change in their organisation. It will enable organisations to be more effective in generating the resources to support delivery.

What some of the participants in the pilot programme in 2018 said:

‘The biggest outcome for me has been the development of our strategy

 - we have been able to really define our business plan. ‘


‘When I first filled the form in, I presumed that it would be far more

commercial than it ended up being but I don't think that was a problem,

because they were focussing on relevant issues that we all wanted to

know about.’


‘It was really good. People were mostly talking about the work they had done and most of those were really inspirational; they had overcome lots of difficulties and a lot of their work is really inspiring. It also included a lot of the more practical information about trading companies and how funding and governance works within the creative sector and what we needed to do. It was really helpful to reinforce that.’

Application process: Interested parties are invited to submit an outline of the relevance of taking part in this development programme. This should include a brief description (no more than 250 words) of the challenges and opportunities that their organisations face, particularly addressing the key development themes which A&BS have identified of income generation, community engagement, business engagement, health & wellbeing, EDI and Governance

Programme format: The programme will take the form of twice-monthly 1 to 2 hour modules delivered online. 

Content: The content will then be shaped around the needs identified by the applicants but examples of some of the sessions that may be included are:

  • The fundraising landscape post-covid
  • Case study sessions – contributions from appropriate organisations of how they have tackled their income generating challenges.
  • Setting out the case for support
  • Enterprising leadership in the cultural sector
  • Exploring other ways to generate income (eg public procurement, community shares, social investment)
  • Placing culture at the heart of the community
  • Helping business to meet their corporate social responsibilities in a post COVID world
  • Social impact measurement
  • Getting a resistant board engaged



Monday 23 August 2021

Deadline for submission of applications to the programme

Monday 6 September

Notification of successful applicants

October to February

Delivery of twice-monthly online modules

Thursdays 10am-12pm:





7 & 21 Oct

4 & 18 Nov

2 & 16 Dec

13 & 20 Jan

3 & 17 Feb

10 March 2022

Evaluation session

Cost: £200 + VAT (successful candidates will be invoiced upon acceptance on the programme)