A Unique Sustainable Solution for Charity Funding
A Unique Sustainable Solution for Charity Funding.
Rob Brooks, founder of Eden-Rose Coppice Trust ,who develops and maintain town centre woodlands for both palliative care and people living with challenging issues says:
“In todays climate the future of funding seems uncertain and unless you plan for a secure future you are putting those that you care for at risk, which is unaccceptable”
The Facing Forward Report by The Lloyds Bank Foundation states that
“With the impact of Brexit, economic uncertainty and growing pressures on local governments adding unprecedented uncertainty for their futures, both small and medium charities must take action to survive”
The UK Government has decreased funding for charities by £3.8bn in the last decade and as a result, many charities futures are at risk. Rebecca Cooney, senior reporter for the Third Sector, the UK’s leading publication for the voluntary and not-for-profit sector, recently wrote that: ‘To survive, charities must diversify their income streams.’
One Suffolk-based charity has set out to do just that with a unique and transferable solution.
It is becoming increasingly more difficult for charities to find funding and many are struggling to survive.
Local charity’s such as the Eden-Rose Coppice Trust, play a massive part in tackling disadvantage in local communities and play a critical but often unseen role. Government funding for charities has not only reduced dramatically over the past decade but has also shifted towards more competitive commissioning and contracting models that are geared towards larger charities and organisations.
This situation led the Trustees of the charity to explore ways of generating sustainable funding to support the valuable work it undertakes, without the need to rely on grant funding.
With help from Plunkett Foundation, they came up with an innovative solution, the establishment of a new not-for-profit community benefit society. This new social enterprise will undertake and develop the charities commercial services, activities and events and gift all surplus profits to the charity as a sustainable funding method.
An indepth study of the third sector along with business advice sourced from the ‘Making Local Woods Work’ project, a partnership between Plunkett Foundation, Forestry Commission England and Hill Holt Wood who are working to support and grow woodland social enterprise around the UK helped Eden Rose formulate an exciting way forward.
A new enterprise is formed
After further research, it was decided that a new not-for-profit Community Benefit Society (CBS) would be formed – The Eden-Rose Community Limited (ERCL).
The new CBS allows people to invest in the future of their community “It’s a unique opportunity to be able to invest in something that is going to provide a sustaible future for your local cancer care charity and become an integral member of a community” Says Jo Brooks, Lead Manager.
ERCL will adopt and expand upon the already productive commercial activities previously being provided by the charity, allowing the Trust to focus on its core objective, to provide cancer care in a tranquil and natural setting.
It will be a not-for-profit enterprise that is run by the community for the community. ERCL is operated on a ‘one member, one vote’ principle, as set out in its Community Benefit Society, Model Rules.
Since 2009, almost 120,000 people have invested over £100m in community shares however it appears that no one has applied this concept to wholly charitable enterprises.
“Further encouraging news is that we have secured the support of the Booster Programme, which is funded by Power to Change and run by the Community Shares Unit. Under this programme they will match fund investments pound for pound” says Jo
Furthermore, The Eden-Rose Community Limited became the 100th organisation to receive the Community Shares Standard Mark – which was developed by the Community Shares Unit, run by Co operatives UK and Locality, with support from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to certify offers that meet national standards of good practice.
HMRC has also given its encouragement by awarding advanced assurance regarding its SEIS scheme.
Being a member of The Eden-Rose Community will bring many benefits. Not only will members be safe in the knowledge that their investment will help their local community in the long term, they will also be supporting a charity. Members will also access concession prices for most activities, events and services provided by ERCL , enjoy members days at the woodland sites, and gain an opportunity to attend and participate, by voting in important matters, at the AGM
We need your help! The Eden-Rose Community Limited is a new not-for-profit enterprise and is calling out for potential investors to help kick start this exciting development.
We are launching our Community Share Offer on the 14th March and members of the public will have until the 10th May (stc) to invest and become members of the Eden-Rose Community.
If you would like to know more information about The Eden-Rose Community and how to become a member of the not-for-profit enterprise, please see our website at www.ercommunity.co.uk or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.