The Social Finance Retailer aims to model itself on existing providers of specialist finance to the social enterprise and charity sector, such as CAF Venturesome, Big Issue Invest, Charity Bank (amongst others). However it is youth sector specific. Its aim is to draw down funds from ‘wholesalers’ with the target source being Big Society Capital. The idea is that organisations apply for finance from the retailer (which can take a number of forms) having demonstrated that they are able to effectively measure and demonstrate both their impact and their investment readiness The impact measurement framework gives voluntary sector organisations guidance on how best to evaluate and measure what they do. It is in draft, and is being tweaked with the help of a small number of organisations prior to final completion and launch at the end of March / early April Staff from the Young Foundation are delivering presentations at road-shows and other Catalyst events, including network meetings, workshops and conferences, to bring the sector up to speed with the concepts of social finance and investment readiness; there are tools that organisations are being taken through by the Young Foundation to assess where they are in terms of being investment ready A brokerage service also exists under this strand to signpost organisations and offer them a ‘handholding’ service whilst they undergo their first investments (potentially blends of both social and commercial finance) with other finance providers operating across the wider sector, e.g. Venturesome, Social Finance; these examples are then to be used as case studies to demonstrate the process with a view to getting more organisations primed for investment through the in-house retailer Much of the background research for this work, the development of the impact measurement framework and the educational and capacity building programmes have been run on behalf of Catalyst by the Young Foundation. ‘ Growing Interest’ – an exercise mapping the market for social finance in the youth sector was published in late summer 2011 and is available on the Young Foundation website
The 2 nd part of Strand 1 of Catalyst centres around enterprising work within the VCS. Delivery partners are NCVYS, Social Enterprise UK and Participation Works. NCVYS has set up a community interest company (yeah CIC). yeah offers a licensing and social franchising service primarily to NCVYS member organisations, but also to the wider sector. Young people helped develop the original process, based around a series of stringent gates that proposals have to pass through in order to qualify for support from the CIC yeah CIC has at its disposal a series of legal agreements that can be adapted to make them bespoke to individual products and services Participation Works have developed resources aimed at young people which debunk myths around social enterprise; the resources include a young person’s guide, and a series of training workshops aimed at young people interested in starting out in social enterprise; these are currently being piloted with the aim of training up a group of young people who can in turn go out to train others Social Enterprise UK have developed educational tools aimed at organisations that are ready to scale up through social franchising / replication; running alongside they are also offering leadership training to senior managers in order to provide organisations with both the practical and leadership skills / tools to drive their business forward. SE UK are running these opportunities FREE to VCS organisations – in particular NCVYS members The practical resources are in some instances already available for free to download from individual organisation websites; if they are not there now they will be shortly
1. How to access money locally Dom Weinberg, Policy Officer, National Council for Voluntary Youth Services email@example.com
2. Fundraising info sources• http://www.ncvys.org.uk/funding_update.html - includes NCVYS monthly update• Funding Central - includes funding opportunities in the form of grants, loans and contracts, as well as advice, support services and partnership opportunities• Community Matters Preparing Good Funding Applications• The Directory of Social Change Top Tips for Applying to Grant-Making Trusts and Foundations.• South Yorkshire Funding Advice Bureau (SYFAB) has regular updates and information sheets appropriate to groups in other regions• Local CVS and CVYS• Colleagues, trustees and beneficiaries
3. Funding possibilities• Funding streams for sports, art, environmental projects• Participation funding and young people’s leadership. Even if this doesn’t directly bring funds into the organisation, will it develop skills which help it with future funding opportunities?• Workforce development – think long term (e.g. how to keep and develop your best volunteers)• Lots of funds are for targeted work with disadvantaged young people. These might be large contracts you wouldn’t dream of delivering, but could you be part of wider bids in some way• Trusts and foundations have £billions - some may work locally• Do funds fit with your mission and values?
4. Should we apply?• Questions to think about before applying• 1. Is it deliverable? (That is, can you do what needs to be done without having to significantly change your operating model or deviate from your core work?)• 2. Is it winnable? (That is, do you meet the funders criteria in the first instance, and do you have a strong case that elevates your proposal above others?)• 3. Is it financially viable? (That is, can you do all that needs to be done with the funds available?)• Questions to think when writing application• 1) What are you doing; 2) who will benefit; 3) why are you doing it; 4) what difference will your project make; 5) is your project likely to work?
5. A pplying for funding• Participatory – work with young people (and the community)• Innovative – doesn’t have to be groundbreaking, but something a bit different and exciting is probably far more appealing to funders. Accept that there can be a risk, but show evidence of good probability of success.• Collaborative - inter-faith, intergenerational, international: contacts are crucial for building relationships• What are current buzzwords? Early intervention, community, citizenship and responsibility, social mobility, leadership , opportunity• But, be careful. Jargon can be a real problem, whether used by applicants or foundations, because it tends to suffocate the good stuff. Don’t let it cover up your passion and what you actually intend to do.
6. Funders perspective• Funders will have a key set of guiding principles, an overall vision that they are trying to achieve. Your bids outcomes need to be in step with those of the funder. Youll need to show how youve identified the need for your service, engagement with the intended audience, and most importantly, the measurable outcomes you are aiming to achieve.• Soft outcomes seem to be out of favour in the current climate; successful bidders are identifying hard, tangible outcomes in order to win funding.• The funder should be a stakeholder in your charitable activities, and that means building a meaningful relationship with them, not just cashing their cheque.
7. Task• Come up with an ‘accessing money locally strategy’.• What will you do in the next 6-12 months• What will you do over the next 2-3-5 years?• Firm plan to generate sustainability for the brigade• Set out next steps – e..g who will you approach next week?
8. Group discussion• What are you fundraising for? What is your strategy and what are your targets?• How much support do you rely on from grants / public donations / sponsorship from private business?• Who can you directly approach for support, e.g. business – and are these short-term arrangements (e.g. per camp) or do they have longer term agreements e.g. sponsorship, in-kind donations, cash gifts over the period of several years?• How do you work with neighbouring organisations other youth organisations – are you collaborating or competing?• Is ‘traditional’ fundraising – cake sales, sponsored events etc – worthwhile? Does it involve the community and can it be used in a positive way to reel people in and get them to donate more, become more involved in fundraising and promotion for the brigade?• Think about ‘alternative’ funding sources?
9. Strengthening the Youth Sector Market• Strand 1 of Catalyst: • A youth sector specific Social Finance Retailer • ‘yeah’ CIC as vehicle to access new and bigger markets • Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with all enquiries and she can signpost you to the most relevant individual in the correct organisation
10. Social Finance Retailer• Impact measurement framework• Educational and capacity building programme – social finance and investment readiness• Brokerage service
11. Building and accessing new andbigger markets• A young person led approach to product development• Legal agreements• Business support programme• Leadership and ‘replication in action’ programmes
12. yeah C ICTaking the Best to the Rest• Licensing and franchising service for the VCS• Looking for ready-to-roll business-in-a-box models requiring little or no start-up investment• Keen to help members ‘discover’ whether they have tangible, saleable products that they could generate an income from through sales