Building Stronger Foundations

A new FREE INTENSIVE support programme from Community Southwark

There has never been a more difficult time to be a not-for-profit organisation and as the political and economic climate worsens many of our members are failing to get the funding they need or are losing premises and good members of staff/volunteers.

Every organisation no matter its size or legal form will experience crunch points throughout its life. As grant funding becomes harder to find, it is more important than ever to diversify our income and develop structures and processes that are robust enough to protect ourselves from the uncertainties and take advantage of the opportunities enabling us to build strong and vibrant organisations.

Every strong organisation has the following key aspects in place:

  • Good Governance
  • Financial management systems & policies
  • A business plan
  • A communications/marketing strategy
  • An income generation strategy
  • A monitoring and evaluation framework
  • Safeguarding policies & procedures
  • Reserves and a reserves policy
  • Quality assurance systems

Without these strong foundations, when a crisis hits it is easy for an organisation to crumble: so how can we support you to push through the tough times and come out stronger and more resilient?

The answer is our Building Stronger Foundations Programme.

In addition to our regular free support, the new Building Stronger Foundations Programme provides a more intensive 1:1 support relationship with groups we identify may be about to reach a crunch point. It will include an in-depth diagnostic to analyse the organisations governance, finances, policies and procedures etc. and identify an action plan which we will then work with you to implement.

Through this programme Community Southwark will:

  1. Pro-actively identify and contact groups and organisations that may need a little extra support to get all their systems and policies in place. This will be based on indicators such as expenditure over income, level of reserves, late returns to the Charity Commission and/or Companies House etc.

  2. We will carry out an organisational diagnostic to identify key areas to work with you on first contact and create a tailored action plan. Then crucially, we will work intensively with you to create and implement all elements of the action plan.

  3. You will be assigned a member of Community Southwark staff who will work with you over time to fill in policy templates, find and create suitable systems to support your organisation, write business plans and fundraising strategies, even help you to write a funding application.

This programme is not open to everyone and we will be contacting groups we think might benefit from our support; however, if you are at a crunch point, you can see one coming or you know a group that is, contact development@communitysouthwark.org or 020 7358 7020 to enroll on this intensive programme.