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…
With the reputation of the charity sector under assault from recent scandals, this paper from icsa is a timely one. Although hard to measure, the permeation of a recognisable, embraced and effective cultural identity is the mainstay of charitable activity, whether for small or large organisations.
Cultural Markers (pdf) provides an interesting overview of the current reputational demise of the sector, but we would argue that this should not be read as global condemnation of all. Indeed the report states ‘…A small number of charities have contributed to this perceived decline in public trust, making operations more difficult for the majority of charities, which quietly go about business helping their beneficiaries‘.
The report recognises the pressure everyone in the sector is under, as funding diminishes and operational constraints continue to increase. However, ‘…there needs to be a strong understanding and respect for the roles of each in ensuring that an appropriate culture is evident and supported by corresponding values and ethics in every facet of the charity’s operations‘.
The icsa report considers thirteen key indicators that can affect cultural attitudes and deliveries inside charities. They include…
Considered and reflective board discussions about culture, values and ethics
A strong commitment to good governance
Strong, ethical and considered leadership
The power of personality
The reflection also includes nine key questions which trustees, managers and leaders of all shades should be addressing to maintain and improve their ‘cultural effectiveness’. These include…
How frequently is organisational culture (values) discussed as part of the formal board agenda? Never, every three years (alongside the strategic plan), once a year, more than once a year?
Do staff/customer satisfaction survey results mirror the agreed culture of the charity?
Have members challenged the authority of the board in the last 12–18 months? What was the issue under challenge?
Does the board/senior management team behave in accordance with the agreed values of the organisation?
Is there an agreed code of conduct in place that helps to build the desired culture of the organisation?
Are constitutional changes made against material opposition from members, staff, service users or funders?
Are ethical dilemmas discussed at board meetings? Are such ethical decisions reviewed?
Have key performance indicators led to any inappropriate behaviours in the charity?
How are incidents of inappropriate behaviours or unwanted culture recorded, monitored and dealt with?
With reputations under challenge and the myriad competing priorities of charitable governance, it is welcome to have a simple codified process of question and challenge which, if adopted as part of the normal discourse of the work, will help support and improve the culture of our organisations.
NCVO have been working on a new draft web site to explain the working of charities. How Charities Work.
A useful new on-line resource both for existing charites and their boards, but particularly for the public in general. Helping to explain sometimes seemingly arcane rules, or the not often declared constraints that modern charities work under.
‘Charities want to make sure that their supporters and the wider public have complete confidence in how they work, because ultimately they can only do what they do thanks to your support.
Charities in the UK play a vital role in society – they make a difference to millions of lives in our country and across the world.
They can only make the difference they do because of you, whether you’re volunteering, donating goods or money, sponsoring a friend in a marathon, attending a fundraising event, or spreading the word. Charities harness the public’s goodwill and combine it with professional expertise to create the biggest possible impact.
So they want to make sure you can find answers to any questions you may have about how they work’.
The Charity Commission have just published a new paper outlining a series of useful questions on policy, strategy, effectiveness and outcome linked to the digital engagement of of trustees, staff, volunteers, service users and customers. Read more…
The twelve key questions are designed to help trustees map a digital strategy for their organisation, to measure its effectiveness and to ensue that digital process and delivery help staff, volunteers and end users for a charitable sevice to get the best from their experience.
The twelve headline questions from the Commission are offered below…
How are we adapting our governance processes to reflect decision making in the digital age?
Are new trustees being briefed?
Have we got the right team in place to help us capitalise on the opportunities and manage the risks in digital?
How does digital fit into our organisational strategy?
How can the board influence the charity to create a culture in which digital can flourish?
As more people seek help and information online, how could our charity support them?
Is our charity using digital to build its brand?
Is our charity equipped to manage reputational risk online?
How will our charity use digital to fundraise, and how will this be aligned to our ethics and values?
Are our IT systems and data secure?
Do we understand what success looks like on digital?
What are the resource implications of digital?
You can explore the detail, and the important subsidiary questions to be asked at board meetings, or policy setting engagements for your organisation, here:
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’.