It's All About the People" by Clarity CIC

Apr 10, 2017

"Recently, I’ve read a few blogs and articles about the negative impact Trustees can have on organisations if they are under-skilled or don’t understand their role, and whether ‘charity’ is an out-dated model.

We work with a wide variety of organisations – most often Charities, CIC’s constituted and un-constituted community groups, and CASCS… (defined at the end of this article  – there are other options too…).

Thinking about which work ‘best’, and which we see making the most impact, it doesn’t seem to us to matter how the group is constituted, what appears to make the difference is THE PEOPLE. It is individuals with a passion for what they are doing, who go above and beyond, that are the thing that matter. They might be a Trustee or Director, or they might be a member of delivery staff, a Chief Executive or a volunteer.

The model is actually fairly inconsequential (as long as it works for the organisation, and allows those involved to do the best for their clients).

This reliance on the passion, energy and skills of individuals is what makes out sector so great… but is also a weakness. If that individual is not there, then what happens to the group or organisation?

A discussion at a focus group we ran on loneliness recently (for Healthwatch), further highlighted this for me. One volunteer who attended is involved in a huge number of organisations, committees and partnerships. She said that she had recently been thinking about how best to make sure that the organisations she works within could move forwards without her.

It struck me that this is unusual – that many people do not think about this, and that actually it is a hidden issue within the sector. We don’t advertise for staff who will willingly work loads of extra hours for free (because that wouldn’t be legal). We don’t list ‘excessive passion for the client group or organisation’ as a key ask on our skills list for Trustees. We also don’t really acknowledge quite how dependent we are on individuals. If we really want groups and organisations to thrive beyond the individuals, yet still harness their passion, expertise and enthusiasm, how can we make this happen? How can we plan this into things?

We don’t have the answers… but I think there is a need for everyone to make sure we value the individuals when we have them, and recognise them when we see them.


"We need to understand that our organisations will change when a particular individual is no longer involved, and that is OK. We need to have some plans in place, and to build the skills and passion of others within our organisations so that they can flow through the sector and make the most impact possible.

So at the end of many people’s financial year, let’s all take a moment to focus on the resources in our organisation that are perhaps hidden behind the money – the people who do go above & beyond for the benefit of our clients."

CIC – Community Interest Company (non-profit company);
Registered Charity – non-profit organisations registered with the Charity Commission with charitable objects (these can be unincorporated or also registered as companies with Companies House);
CIO – Charity Incorporated Organisation (incorporated legal structure for charities regulated by the Charity Commission);
Association with charitable aims and objectives - formal group with a constitution which is charitable but not registered with the Charity Commission (most likely because their income is below the £5,000 threshold);
Constituted community group – formal group with a constitution which lays out issues around membership, who can make decisions, what they do and how they will use any money etc;
Un-constituted community group – generally small groups who have come together because of a shared issue, or to set up support within their geographical community. Tend to be organised informally and have no written rules around their group;
CASCs – Community and Amateur Sports Clubs. Groups who are constituted and whose core purpose is amateur sport.

For more information on how Clarity CIC can help you to remain on the right track in 2017 visit Clarity's website or follow Clarity on Facebook.

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