Tips on Sustainable Funding: listen to our three podcasts

Olof Williamson was a Senior Consultant at NCVO, looking at the latest thinking on funding, finance and public services. Olof has left NCVO and his posts have been retained for here for reference.

At our Funding Pioneers conference last month there were loads of insights into how to make the most of income opportunities available to civil society organisations. To share the learning, I recorded three of our excellent speakers, and you can listen to them here.  Joe Ludlow talks about capital investment, Cathy Elliott on working with funders and Martin Booth on community shares.

The podcasts have proved very popular with those who were at the conference, so have a read and a listen to see what our experts are saying.  You can listen to all three in less than ten minutes!

Joe Ludlow

Joe is a CLORE Social Fellow with a special interest in capital investment.  Here are some of his tips:

“There are three reasons to think about capital investment right now.  The first one is the financial climate – charities are facing cuts in their funding, and more threatening is the uncertainty around funding.  So capital investment is important to protect what you’ve got already, for example through an overdraft or standby facility.”

“The second reason it is important right now is that some charities may be undergoing a transition.  And when you move from one funding model to another you need some money to take you on that journey.”

“Finally, as we see public sector funding in particular switching to payment by results and outcomes that is going to increase the need for working capital to fund services before you know whether you will be paid for them.”

Hear Joe’s tips on how to access capital investment in the full podcast [3min 37sec via AudioBoo]

Cathy Elliot

Cathy is the Chief Executive of the Community Foundations for Merseyside and Lancashire.  She discusses how organisations can become more sustainable and have better relations with funders.

“We’ve done a lot of consultation with community leaders in Liverpool around the big society and the spending review, and lots of them are considering collaborations, mergers, improving training in business planning and financial planning.”

“Organisations at this time need to have a look at themselves, revisit their mission and vision and core business, and ask themselves do they need to be working in a different way or perhaps even close down, or collaborate or merge with someone else.”

“It’s also very important for charities and community groups to demonstrate their impact.  There are people doing amazing things out there, they’ve got amazing stories to tell.  But they need to understand the social needs across their area, and look at how that information is presented, whether they are a Scout group, a community café or a disability organisation.”

Hear Cathy’s examples of innovative funding practice in the full podcast [2min 29sec via AudioBoo]

Martin Booth

Martin is Secretary and Director of Hudswell Community Pub Ltd.  He looks at how the George and Dragon set up their community share issue, and why people have invested.

“The pub had been shut a year or so when we got together and decided we needed to do something about it.  It was virtually the only facility in the village – so we decided to form a cooperative and issue shares to members of the co-op in order to raise the bulk of the finance.”

“Some people invested because they felt something that was owned by the community would stand a much better chance of being successful.  Others have bought shares because they believe in the idea of community ownership of local assets and also because they like to buy into the idea of owning a small part of a Yorkshire Dales pub!”

Hear Martin’s thoughts on the challenges of community share issues in the full podcast [4min 5sec via AudioBoo]

If you’ve found this useful, you can also access all the presentations and papers from Funding Pioneers 2010 here.

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