Charity, business and community

networkDiagramPic34‘Businesses should act as ‘community hubs’, helping promote social interaction amongst their customers and developing local action plans to create happier, more resilient communities’.

This is a quote from a new report from the RSA, The Community Footprint: Shared Value for Business and Communities, outlining how local business, social business, can become hubs or focal points for community interaction and development.

Charities and social enterprises in particular, can have a role to play in this ‘combination’ role. A community charity, like SEC, can provide a focus, a tunnelling of ideas to engage community business in this sort of network activity, particularly in a remote rural area.

A charity could, for example, through its social enterprise network or community development activity co-ordinate and contribute to the strategies and focus of ethical business support to that community.
Helping businesses to answer the ‘how can we help’ question?

You can see the RSA report here…

The Community Footprint: shared value for business and communities

The RSA report looks at a a case study of a B & Q store and how it’s instore activity and engagement with customers and staff, were able to affect and effect change in community projects.

Big business, with financial and operational clout, can clearly be players in this role – but we would argue that there is a place for small, local economic groups and networks to use the same model – generating change using their very specific local knowledge too.

Our secBEANS network can fill this role too – acting as a focus point for community enterprise and using the charitable aims of SEC to make a strong community impression – adding new value to community projects.

Food for thought?

Measuring the quality of your committee?

We were recently at a Social Enterprise business advisors meeting in The Midlands. We were fortunate to have a presentation from The Guild, a Norwich based social business/community advice organisation.

The booklet beng discussed was Social Impact Measurement. An often complex piece of work to determine what the outcomes of your organisation are in terms of the beneficial impact you have on the community.

However, part of the booklet was an analysis of ‘quality measurers’. Schemes of analysis or reflection which groups can use in committee and with their supporters to determine how good their governance is, or how the delivery of their work matches against expected recognised standards.

Yes, there are some very expensive and time consuming examples in the booklet, but there are also some very cost effective and elegantly simple ones too. Helping committees or boards of governance determine their strengths, weaknesses and the need for change, if any.

You can download the booklet here.

AT SEC we have experts on governance, committee support and enterprise/social organisation management. Our support is free. If we can help you with a ‘quality project’ for your group or committee just ASK SEC! 

A Sustainable Funding Guide

Sustainable funding in Norfolk

Ideas for developing your group or organisation

Voluntary Norfolk, in partnership with other organisations like NCVO and The Lottery, have just published a useful sustainable funding guide.

This useful booklet can help your organisation, group or club think about its finances, how you are governed and what you might be able to do in terms of fund raising or developing income streams from your existing activities.

The booklet has a number of useful tools and templates that can help your committee plan or to develop some recommendations for ideas for your group to consider.

At the end of the short, clearly laid out booklet is a list of useful web links and other resources and organisations that might be useful.

Don’t forget – if you have an idea for developing how your committee works, or a social enterprise or community business idea then The Sandringham Enterprise Centre team are here to help too. We can share our knowledge and expertise for free with you – helping change happen and income develop.

You can contact us here: help@sandringhamcentre.com

Download a pdf copy of this Voluntary Norfolk booklet here. 

Be a volunteer! 20th October 2010

Our new volunteer page on the Centre website has details of volunteering opportunities and information about our forthcoming Volunteer Fair.

We have an open to all Volunteer Fair and Open Day at The Sandringham Centre on Wednesday 20th October, where you will be able to meet the Centre team and hear about future plans for your Centre.

If you can help, there will be the opportunity to volunteer.

Also the newly emerging Charitable Company, charged with managing the Centre, is also looking for a volunteer Treasurer.

Some one who knows how the calculator works and would enjoy working with the Centre team to develop services, social enterprise and charitable activity.

Have a look at our main volunteer page for more details.

We look forward to meeting you on the 20th.,

The Sandringham Centre Team

Start-up advice for social enterprises?

bagPicThe Trading Standards service of Norfolk County Council have a website service called ERWIN.

Everything regulation, whenever it’s needed – this is a great resource for anyone thinking of starting or developing a social enterprise or community business.

What information should I put in my adverts, how should I describe the contents of my food for sale or can I sell refurbished electrical equipment? Whatever your business idea, get guidance here.

The ERWIN service offers current information across a whole range of business types and allows you to review and save copies of your advice packs too.

Getting started or just thinking about a new business then ERWIN from Norfolk County Council Trading Standards is a great resource to help you get started.