"Converged ideals - Diverged lines" by Clarity CIC

Aug 4, 2017

"In NPC’s latest publication ‘Charities Taking Charge’, which forms part of their research on the State of the Sector, there was a participant quote which for me, stood out from the rest:

"If the type of institutions that we've got are not the best ones for fulfilling the new agenda, then it doesn't really matter about the institutions. I think every organisation should be looking at itself and asking "are we the right vehicle for doing the things that we want to do? Is this the best way to do it?" and, if not, proactively work out a better way for doing it. I know that's not an easy thing to do, but we ought to. I think quite a lot of what is now in our sector will either just die off because it can't keep itself going anymore, or it with be outflanked by newer types of initiatives that are more agile, flexible, mobile. We see it happening, we're observing it." (Quote from participant contributor, NPC report, Charities Taking Charge, May 2017).

Increasingly there are fewer distinctions on the type of organisations providing services for social good. The traditional registered charity is not, as the quote suggests, the only or perhaps the ‘best’ vehicle for social change.

Clarity CIC has over the past 12 months worked with an array of individuals and groups of people with a passion to ‘do something’. They sometimes remain just that, an individual with a vision or collective of people with a mission – not wishing to formalise but provide support to their communities without the burden of bureaucracy.

They are often driven by an issue that needs a bespoke local solution; energetic and expedient; lateral and innovative; use social media over a website, seek funding through networks and use what’s needed through their own resources rather than being reliant on what’s been traditionally provided.

We have worked with private sector businesses that see and respond instinctively to a need in their community and others that have registered as a CIC or other structure because the charity model just doesn’t work for them but they need some form of legal entity to attract funding (where they can).

Yet there is still a reluctance to recognise this ‘alternative’ contribution to social change – Paul from GRIN (that's us! - Grants Resources Information News) recently told us that he estimated, taking two similar organisations - one a registered charity – the other a CIC, the latter would be eligible for only 25% of the funding from Trust Funds the former could apply for.

Whether this is because Trust Givers think charities in some way more ‘legit’ or because they don’t pay enough attention to outcomes rather than the vehicle, is a question worth exploring.

Whatever the reason, times, as they say, are a’changin and the sector(s) needs to consider what the future of good looks like and be prepared to blur the lines of distinction."  

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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