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Theory of Change

The projects we fund are underpinned by our theory of change, which shows how we believe that supporting people to be more active, creative and connected leads to positive social outcomes.


Spirit of 2012 was set up to recreate the pride and positivity that defined the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games. We give funding to projects that leave a social legacy, with the ultimate aim that:


Individuals and communities thrive irrespective of their background


We contribute to a society set up in a way that enables everyone to flourish


We believe that enabling people to participate in a wide range of inclusive activities, and engaging together in their communities, will:

  • Improve the wellbeing of individuals, communities and society as a whole
  • Improve perceptions (including self perceptions) and attitudes towards disability and impairment
  • Lead to greater social cohesion and understanding

We can measure these benefits at an individual, community and organisational level: people, places and projects.


We commission projects that improve wellbeing outcomes for individuals


The projects we commission use the spark of events to create happier communities


We deliver our funding in ways that also benefit our delivery organisations


We want our funding to help more people participate in the arts, volunteer, get physically active and come together as a community.

We’ve developed five principles for how we design funding rounds and how our projects drive their work forward:


Bringing together people from different backgrounds

Removing barriers to participation, particularly for disabled and/or disadvantaged people


Activities are fun and positive

Activities are high qualitycredible and authentic

Beneficiaries have a say in how activities are run


Participation is regular

Clear pathways for continued engagement


Funding is responsive to local needs

Local people have agency and leadership roles

National and local organisations work in partnership


Projects teams are curious about what works

Project teams respond to learning

They are honest about what doesn’t work