CIC Association

Serving Community Enterprise

Hi there everyone, Ive just started a CIC which will eventually be turned into a charity, Im looking for funding/investment to help with the start up costs of the company so I can get my community interest group off the ground.

The purpose will mainly be to help with renting an office, hiring staff, website costs, maintenance and hiring a campaign team to help me with my venture

My company is mainly for spreading awareness for Sickle cell Disease through education and offering services to cater for the community to help prepare schools, colleges, university's companies, organisations and other business sectors to cater for children, staff, customers that have the condition, or know. I will also be providing counseling sessions and providing outreach services to give support and advice for people who are struggling from the condition as well as be organizing events for sufferers of the condition.

Could you all assist me in finding funding, investment for my community interest company or steer me into the right direction as at the moment I have a high rate of people asking for help which I have no means to do, as they are already responding to my online campaigns and my social media posts as well as contacting me privately.

Thank you all in advance.

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Hi Kenny, great to hear of your plans to raise awareness of Sickle Cell, but if you plan to convert to a charity why not set up as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation which would give you limited liability, allow you to trade and employ people and open up grant possibilities whilst allowing you to claim Gift Ad on donations?

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/charity-types-how-to-choose-a-structure

It's free and the model constitution makes it fairly easy to register with the Charity Commission. You could be employed by the charity if you want to be paid. You only need three Trustees to start up, I'm sure there are people who support Sickle Cell who would volunteer.

As a CIC you're going to struggle to apply for grants and although you can receive donations there's no tax advantage. Try your local Council for Voluntary Services for advice and support to consider your legal structure.

Hope this is helpful.

Nick

Hi there Nick thank you for your reply, my main objections of converting to a CIO from my CIC is the time frame it would take, Ive just now registered as a CIC and really want to get cracking with my community projects and awareness campaigns for sickle cell, hence my applications for funding and investment, I dont think I can waste anymore time as September is sickle cell awareness month. Do you know the time scales of this turnover and do you actually think it would be more suitable if I did covert to a CIO for the funding and investment route, would this mean also that I would have to put on hold any applications for investment and funding that I have already applied for? and stop company projects until this is sorted out?

Hi Kenny and Nick

Definitely worth discussing which one is more suitable for you as CIO has to lot to offer. I dont think there is much difference between a CIO and CIC regarding eligibility for grants though, and just to point out that CICs can qualify for gift aid if they use a Charity service such as Localgiving.com (its the activity itself that qualifies as charitable).

If your income will be mainly through donations it may be better to be a CIO as this better aligns your activity to your structure, as Kenny points out you qualify for gift aid directly and do the paperwork yourself.  

Also just to mention you can convert an existing CIC to a CIO or Charity quite easily so if it will affect existing activity that may be a consideration for you. 

John

Thank you John I will most definitely look into converting to a CIO just the thought of doing more paperwork especially as im dyslexic and it took me this long to register as a CIC itself is daunting. Im prob going to consider leaving it as a CIC for a little bit the convert later when my team expands and i get more help as currently im doing everything from promoting campaign awareness, projects and programs all by myself.

Thank you both for your help and how are your CIC's going any tips and advice that I need to pick up on?

Hi Kenny, I work for Beacon Centre for the Blind which has been a charity for over 140 years, I helped set up Beacon4Life CIC to run Beacon Opticans+, the UK's first accredited social enterprise opticians. We started trading a year ago and have just been shortlisted for the SEUK One to Watch awards 2016. So things are definitely on the up! We're looking to raise investment from a private share offer with SITR, so very interested in the new Community Stock Exchange. What kind of investment are you looking for?

Hey John, im looking for investment to help kick start all avenues of my community interest group, to help aid finance more staff, including a legal advisor and business manager aswell as a campaign manager. The investment will basically revolve around getting my charity established as im already getting traction on social media and bromley council are already looking to work with me.

I've already started grant applications now im looking for investors that can also help as mentors that can help with the company as im just starting out.

I aim to to do this fulltime with an office so I can concentrate on putting the information out there about sickle cell and saving as many lives as possible.

The website is under construction and I have already started designed and created a sample charity clothing line and also developing an app which will act as a database for sickle cell sufferers to have a voice and to discuss and give people advice as well as rate hospital treatment and service.

I have many more ideas and thoughts but need maybe expand my team and build from there.

Do you think there are investors out there that could assist me in regards to what im aiming for?

I think there are investors out there but you need to be clear about what kind of investment you are seeking. Loans are debts that need to be repaid, shares are equity which may be left in, depends if your CIC is limited by shares though, and social investors who may be willing to invest will want a clear idea of how you'll capture the social impact and what that might mean in terms of reduced financial returns, if any, they may donate if, as John suggests, you use a site like Just Giving.

Best of luck getting your organisation off the ground.

Nick

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