Funding your organisation or a project, in this uncertain economic climate, is perhaps the biggest challenge to charities and community groups today.
Are you thinking of applying for funding to develop a new project or to expand the charity?
What’s stopping you?
Are you struggling to prove your service is needed?
You know instinctively that your new idea will work, but can you convince funders there will be take-up?
We can provide Evidence of Need
Are you fit for growth?
Can you prove it?
Do you have an organisational strategy?
Are your policies and processes up to date?
Is the prospect of all the preparatory work preventing you from taking the first step?
Hand the work over to us and we’ll complete it with the minimum of disruption to your day to day operations.
What we can do
Whether you’re the smallest community or tenants’ group, just starting up, or an established charity with experience and vision, Involving Communities can help. Recognising that not every group has the time, experience or the capacity to carry out the tasks necessary to complete a specific project or to help the group progress, we complement your existing skills and resources whilst transferring our skills to you or your team.
Follow the individual links below to discover how Involving Communities can help you.
Manager Mentoring and Support Service
Do you lead a small but dedicated team of staff and/or volunteers?
Are you, like most charity managers, struggling with the demands of the job because everything appears to have a high priority?
Has your work become your evening activity?
Is your annual leave and TOIL often left un-taken?
Does every board meeting lead to more work?
Do you feel like you are carrying the weight of the charity on your shoulders?
Do you think that if you gave up, the charity would cease to continue?
Do you feel that if only you had a sounding board, it would help you to see more clearly?
If you have answered yes to any of our questions, we can help.
Here at IC Ltd we have heard the same comments made over and over.
IC Ltd has a specialist support service designed exactly for people like you: intelligent, committed, dedicated managers who sometimes don’t know which way to turn.
We can help you to prioritise by talking through your options.
We charge £63 per phone call – which can last around an hour.
You will be paying for a listening ear, a sounding board, suggestions, strategies, opinions, but most of all being able to tap into 25 years experience of working in this environment.
Ali Draper has the MA in Voluntary and Public Sectors: policy and process, and is an Institute of Fundraising graduate of Fundraising Management. She has also undertaken courses in:
Change management, Legal Responsibilities of Management Committees and all manner of other subject specific courses applicable to running charities.
If between us we identify tasks which we can take over for you, then – depending on availability – we are happy to arrange a contract – by the hour, the day or by the project. Feel free to contact us to discuss how we can help you.
Please click to see the types of tasks we can accept and the difference we can make to your charity and your own mental well-being.
We have created a new web page focusing on supporting managers of new charities.
For our clients to better understand their clients, stakeholders and their own organisations
For you to save precious time and money
To remove some of the stress managers experience, by providing a sounding board to help prioritise
To produce accurate evidence, in the right format:
* to support funding applications
* to design appropriate projects to help you achieve your missions and goals
* to present to your board or existing funders
* to manage difficult relationships – internally or externally
* to manage change
We are qualified fundraisers, so can help with that too, either designing a strategy, suggesting fundraising activities and possible funders or making applications.
Recognising that community groups are often talent rich but financially poor, we often offer our services on a Pro Bono – expenses only – basis.
Don’t let the thought of paying expenses put you off, if we can help with advice over the phone, for example, no expenses will be incurred.
If you are seeking outside expertise because you’re exploring unfamiliar problems or methodologies, Involving Communities can help.
If you don’t have the existing resources to complete a specific task and you don’t want to recruit new staff, we could be just what you need.
We can offer an objective insight into aspects of your business that your in-house people perhaps can’t provide.
We can work for you, alongside you or we can create strategies and action plans for your own staff to complete.
We offer a bespoke service to suit you and your budget.
We offer our services on a Pro Bono (expenses only) basis from time to time.
When is the best time to engage with Involving Communities?
The frank answer is anytime! From the emergence of an idea to drawing together a post-project or annual report, and everything in between, we can help.
You can contact us if you need a sounding board to develop an idea or to write a strategy or explore the ways of funding your idea.
A strategy is when you put your ideas on paper, consider who and how they will be achieved and how you’re going to pay for it all. If you are just starting up you need a strategy for development, we will ensure there are measures in place so you can identify specific achievements.
(Measuring your social impact is of significance to funders and should be one of your priorities).
Read what we do, if you don’t see the type of skills you require, contact us as it has been impossible to list everything we are able to undertake.
We can often recommend fellow professionals if, for whatever reason, we are unavailable or if we consider one of our collaborators to be a better fit for your community.
Depending on our availability, we can sometimes step in to make up your numbers if you suddenly need extra or replacement staff. We aren’t an agency, so don’t charge a commission on top of a daily rate.
The rate you are quoted is what you pay.
We can also give quotes for full projects and we give discounts for successive pieces of work.
Our Approach to Involving Communities
The process we use to help research and/or shape a project, a service, a product or the culture of your organisation, is broadly similar regardless of the sector.
The process ensures your organisation’s mission, values, objectives and goals are inline with your clients’ expectations.
We define your community.
This stage is often repeated.
We map your customer’s journeys and experiences by choosing from a range of research methods: participant observation, ethnography, surveys, one-to-one interviews, workshops, focus groups, or through custom designed and innovative methods of involvement.
When appropriate to do so, we recruit assistance from the community itself.
We create affinity diagrams to sort the various data and draft our report of recommendations, which includes actionable insights.
We involve your community in reviewing the report and testing our results.
We present the report in an appropriate format to satisfy your organisation’s requirements.
We can supply, for eg, an Evidence of Need report to support funding applications.
We can provide summary reports to present to stakeholders, funders, or the board.
We can provide action plans which are useful for progress, especially to address inter-departmental conflict.
You make a choice; we can stay with your organisation to implement the findings, or draw up a strategy or action plan to achieve the objectives, then supervise the work from arm’s length, or we can just leave you to it.