The Government Communication Headquarters, GCHQ, in the guise of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), has just published a useful and thorough guide for small charities.
‘…charities are increasingly reliant on IT and technology and are falling victim to a range of malicious cyber activity. Losing access to this technology, having funds stolen or suffering a data breach through a cyber attack can be devastating, both financially and reputationally’.
Source: Ciaran Martin, CEO of NCSC.
The booklet contains detailed reflection and advice on five key areas of data, ICT and operational practice – all of which can leave you exposed to hackers or the malevolent site visitor.
Calm and clear in its concise advice, the detail of the publication covers…
Backing up your data
Protecting your charity from malware
Keeping smartphones and tablets safe
Using passwords wisely
Avoiding ‘phishing’ attacks
‘…good practice will only be effective if everyone plays their part, seeking out and applying relevant advice to help improve their charity’s resilience to the growing threat of cyber crime. Taking even a few of the simple steps recommended in this guide will be a good start to better protecting your charity from harm.’
Source: Helen Stephenson, Chief Executive, The Charity Commission.
We think all charities and social businesses will find this a useful publication, regardless of size.
Calm advice in a frenzied technological landscape is always welcome.
The chapters include sections on Mission, Market and Money, as well as Marketing and Branding and the all important Business Plan.
There is also a very clear grid format page which illustrates the choices of good governance you can pursue, in order to control and support your Social Enterprise ambitions as a community.
We particularly liked the SEUK section on Looking After Yourself.
It is easy, in the whirl of excitement and drive to make things happen to forget about individual well-being in pursuit of the goal. We have repeated the sensible advice below…
”Pay yourself properly – as soon as is practically possible, pay
yourself properly; some social entrepreneurs pay other people
first in the organisation, but everyone needs to live…
Find a mentor – a mentor is someone independent outside your organisation to talk to who can provide advice and support to you; organisations like UnLtd and the School for Social Entrepreneurs will often link you to mentors as part of their support, but you may be able to identify your own…
Be part of networks – there are lots of local, regional and national groups and networks for social enterprises, from national bodies like Social Enterprise UK to the Social Enterprise Places across the country to local and regional networks like SELNET in Lancashire or SEEE in the East of England; they will often run events, send newsletters with information, and provide connections to others. (…and SocEntEastMids too…Ed).
Don’t neglect family and friends – take time out, spend time with
the people you like and love, and you will be better refreshed, more
focused and more productive when you return to the enterprise…
Keep learning – this is a fast-moving world, and there are new developments, opportunities and information to find out about; events and newsletters can help with this, as can podcasts or books on business and social enterprise…”
Source: Social Enterprise UK, Start your social enterprise, p.13 Accessed 02.08.2017
A useful addition to your basket of information when building your community business to effect change.
We recommend it as a great starting point for changing the world, or even a bit of it that starts right at your front door!
This is some of our planned project delivery workflow…in 2018
Developing Social Enterprise East Midlands, SocEntEastMids, as a six county-wide community of interest | Expand and consolidate our Partnership consultancy services into enterprise governance and charity support | Parent Champion project development and training with Family & Childcare Trust | Develop and expand our web brands across the regions of the UK, particularly in web services for charities and social enterprise | Progressively develop our international author and illustrator representation and booking services…
Thinking about good practice at Enterprising Communities
”The purpose of this guidance is to help trustees comply with their legal trustee duties when overseeing their charity’s fundraising. It sets out 6 principles to help them achieve this.
It focuses primarily on matters within the Commission’s regulatory remit. It is not a guide to the wide range of laws and regulations that apply to specific types and aspects of fundraising, but it provides links to sources of information about these rules”.
Source: Fundraising for Trustees CC20 The Charity Commission.
We detail the key principles of Trustee responsibility here…
This is about you and your co-trustees agreeing or setting, and then monitoring, your charity’s overall approach to fundraising. Your fundraising plan should also take account of risks, your charity’s values and its relationship with donors and the wider public, as well as its income needs and expectations.
2. Supervising your fundraisers
This is about you and your co-trustees having systems in place to oversee the fundraising which others carry out for your charity, so that you can be satisfied that it is, and remains, in your charity’s best interests. It means delegating responsibly so that your charity’s in-house and volunteer fundraisers, and any connected companies, know what is expected of them. If you employ a commercial partner to raise funds for your charity, the arrangement must be in the charity’s best interests and comply with any specific legal rules and standards that apply.
3. Protecting your charity’s reputation, money and other assets
This means ensuring that there is strong management of your charity’s assets and resources so that you can meet your legal trustee duty to act in your charity’s best interests and protect it from undue risk. It includes ensuring that there is adequate consideration of the impact of your charity’s fundraising on its donors, supporters and the public, making sure that your charity receives all the money to which it is entitled, and taking steps to reduce risk of loss or fraud.
4. Identifying and ensuring compliance with the laws or regulations that apply specifically to your charity’s fundraising
The legal rules that apply to various types of fundraising can be detailed and complex. They cover compliance in important areas such as with data protection law, licensing, and working with commercial partners. There are new rules in the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016 which affect some charities that fundraise. You should make sure that your charity has access to sufficient information and appropriate advice to ensure that its fundraising complies with all relevant legal rules.
5. Identifying and following any recognised standards that apply to your charity’s fundraising
These are in the Fundraising Regulator’s Code of Fundraising Practice. The Code outlines both the legal rules that apply to fundraising and the standards designed to ensure that fundraising is open, honest and respectful. The Commission expects all charities that fundraise to fully comply with the Code.
6. Being open and accountable
This includes complying with any relevant statutory accounting and reporting requirements on fundraising and using reporting to demonstrate that your charity is well run and effective. In your fundraising communications it is about being able to effectively explain your fundraising work to members of the public and your charity’s donors and supporters.
The Commission has also published an accompanying check-list for Trustees around fund-raising too.
You’ll leave brimming with ideas and enthusiasm to generate more impact and more income for your charity – guaranteed.
Choose from practical, interactive workshops, led by the sector’s top trainers and experts. PLUS, a programme of inspirational talks from charities doing innovative and exciting communications work, packed full of advice for your organisation.
You’ll also have the chance to get one to one advice from our speakers and other experts, and to meet your fellow delegates in our all-day networking space’. Read more here…
Source: Directory of Social Change web pages. Accessed 26.09.2016
This is a great event, spread over two days, that provides a real opportunityto improve your wroting and marketing skills.
Sessions for both days (pdf) are focused on the practical outcomes needed to achieve increased effectiveness in your group or organisation.
Investment in Britain’s children, youth and vulnerable communities…
‘The Bright Futures Fund represents a real opportunity for ambitious charities and social enterprises to access the capital they need to expand and scale their work, with a particular focus on those that are working to improve the lives of children, young people and other vulnerable groups throughout the UK.
The Fund has a specific focus on organisations which are delivering effective interventions to improve the lives of children, young people and vulnerable groups. Some of the issues that investees will tackle include helping children to avoid entering foster care; ensuring access to education; and improving the most important early years of a child’s life’.
We’ve partnered with Locality and received funding from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to help urban communities access the support and resources available for rural communities to set up community-owned shops…’ (Source: The Plunkett Foundation, Nov. 2015)
The programme application process is now open for this new Foundation initiative. See more here.
The Plunkett Foundation have already helped ten urban groups to explore the potential of their urban community owned shop idea. Is the time right for your community?
The Foundation will make grants of between 20,000 and thirty thousand pounds, and it is open to applications from across the UK.