While many people in the community express interest and enthusiasm for setting up and running their own project or organisation, the knowledge, experience or capacity to do so is invariably lacking. With this in mind, Synergy provides advice and guidance to individuals or groups interested in starting up an enterprise or to organisations who are looking to further develop their services and programmes. This includes signposting and support on fundraising.
During its tenure in Camberwell, the Centre operated a ‘Social Enterprise Study Group’, which held twice weekly advice sessions in which people wishing to fundraise, network and generally develop their start-up social enterprises could work together, access advice from experienced project managers and fundraisers and spend a few hours writing project proposals or filling in funding application forms in an atmosphere of common endeavour. The sessions covered cover all aspects of setting up and running a start-up social enterprise, specialising in the creative and cultural sector, healthy, ethical and sustainable living, youth and kids work, personal and spiritual development.
Topics covered included:
- Mission statement – clarifying what it is you want to do and writing it down in the language that funders and clients will understand.
- Incorporation – setting up your not-for-profit company – drafting your memorandum of association, filling in the forms, opening a bank account.
- Financial management – keeping accounts, submitting company returns, drafting budgets, managing costs, projecting income.
- Marketing & Promotion – understanding social need, researching social policy, drafting marketing materials, researching clients, pitching to clients.
- Monitoring and Evaluation – how to measure the outputs generated from your project so as to be able to demonstrate value for money.