About us

Helping you unleash
your social power

At the Sheila McKechnie Foundation, we recognise that change often begins in civil society. From it have come better rights and protections, changes in social attitudes, and new ways to support each other, our communities and the natural world. The power civil society has to drive truly transformational change – in one person’s life or our entire society – is most effective when we work at our best, without unreasonable constraint. We call it ‘Social Power’. Our mission is to unleash it. 

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Our vision is a more confident and powerful civil society in which people work together to drive social change.

SMK Review  document

We are curious

We never stop asking how change is happening

Making social change happen is always complex, often messy and rarely, if ever, easy. The world around us is constantly changing. Tools and tactics evolve. Attitudes in society and in our own organisations change. We bring together change-makers from all parts of civil society and create spaces where we can explore change-making together. We listen and share our evolving understanding of social change, as well as our unique tools, freely.

We champion

We celebrate and champion change-making

We seek to build a more confident and powerful civil society, whose role in social change is recognised and valued. We help civil society be heard by bringing actors together and creating platforms that strengthen visibility and voice. We also celebrate success at the annual SMK National Campaigner Awards. We work right across civil society from large institutions to community organisations and much more fluid social movements. We include charities, faith groups, trades unions and social enterprise.

We build capacity

We help you become better and bolder at making change

Our unique analysis of social change and the potential for power in civil society (which we call ‘social power’) underpins our wide range of training and expert consultancy. Our relentless curiosity keeps our analysis up to date. Using our years of experience as campaigners and change-makers, on-going research and real-world applications of our findings, we can help you to achieve lasting and transformative change. We can work with one person, a whole team, or an entire organisation.

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We have an extensive network of Associates – leading campaigners, organisers and commentators. They support the delivery of our training, coaching and consultancy.

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Staff and trustees

Our small team of staff work alongside a network of associates and an active board of Trustees.

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Who was Sheila McKechnie?

A self-described ‘fully paid–up member of the awkward squad’, Sheila combined a grasp of detail with passionate campaigning.

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Jobs and volunteering

Look here for opportunities to support our work as a staff member, volunteer, Associate or Trustee.Read more >

Watch this year’s virtual awards ceremony

Watch SMK’s Year in View presented by Rashid Nix

Latest Impact Report and Annual Accounts

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Annual Accounts


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Annual Accounts 2020

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Annual Accounts 2019

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Latest Impact Report and Annual Accounts

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Annual Accounts 2018

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SMK Triennial Evaluation 2016 – 2019

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We are a Living Wage Employer

We are an accredited Living Wage Employer. This means that every member of staff at SMK earns at least the Living Wage for their area, a rate set independently and updated annually, based on the cost living in the UK. Find out more about the Living Wage at livingwage.org.uk.

Who we work with


If you have a role in creating social change, we want to work with you. From large charities to small community-based organisations, from trade unions to funders. We also work with companies who want to ensure that their contribution to social change is more than window-dressing.

Royal College of Nursing
Local Trust
Paul Hamlyn Foundation
London Youth
The Social Power approach is immediately useful and dynamic. It’s increasingly transformative in the work we do.

Emily Oliver
Managing Director, Positive Negatives

Brilliant course. I learned so many new skills, great balance of theory and practice, fantastic way to build a network of campaigners.

Influencing Change 2019

This was one of the best award events I’ve ever attended. Inspiring winners, moving stories and a room full of positive people with big hearts.

SMK 2019 National Campaigner Awards

The Social Change Project

How change is happening in the UK today

How civil society is driving change today and how the most effective change makers think and behave.

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Power Project

Transform power, build solidarity, make change.

How can social sector organisations take action to build solidarity in social change?

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