We are new to the CIC association forum and have recently set up a CIC and after reading the forum I have noted that older posts show that the funding for CIC's is limited.
Has anyone got any up to date info on the current funding available to CIC's our model is a company limited by guarantee.
Thanks in advance
So much depends on what you do, and what type of funding you seek. How do you find Big Lottery Awards for All?
Much funding is dependent on the sector and type of activity you seek funding for, so please let us know a bit more and i'd be happy to make some suggestions
ps its a challenge for all CICs as I guess all third sector organisations, good luck
Hi John Thanks for the response. We provide a Generalist Advice service on issues such as Benefits (both in and out of work), Housing, Debt, Employment. We don't just stop at advice we provide a Life Mentoring service which is where we support our clients for several weeks after to ensure they keep on top on the issues in their life so they can take the right steps to changing their life. We will running workshops on a variety of different issues such as job finding, support people with learning difficulties fill in applications. I know the CIC model allows you to charge for some of the services you provide so some of the workshops where we don't get funding we may ask for a donation/small fee to help cover costs.
Still thinking of creative ways for our company to make money without being so heavily reliant upon funding as it seems to be so competitive out there.
If you have used the model governing documents for a CIC limited by Guarantee you ought to be able to ask for and receive donations. Lots of charities use donation fundraising to fund services that cannot be self-sustainable, they have the advantage of Gift Aid, but that is really a benefit for the organisation and not the donor.
The critical balance to achieve for a CIC is the four pillars of investment, donations, contracts and enterprise. Otherwise the roof falls in.
Investment in a CIC limited by Guarantee can be in the way of a loan with Social Investment Tax Relief that may help secure assets or provide funding for capital equipment that can be used in trading activity, e.g. vans, coffee machines, kitchens, lawnmowers etc.
Donations are a way of engaging with supporters, volunteers and corporate sponsors, can be in time, money or equipment. Just without Gift Aid. Useful to build up a fund for a project or in the short term, revenue costs.
Contracts are a way of delivering services that beneficiaries can't pay for themselves, should be commissioned where there is a need, increasingly though this is only where there's a statutory duty. Might need to tender for contracts to deliver other services where you can make a surplus that could be invested in non-profit making services, e.g. our Beacon Opticians+ CIC generates income from NHS sight test income and uses any profit to support day services for people with sight loss.
Most CIC's are social enterprises, that usually means having a social mission and an enterprise, many forget the latter half and think that services are enterprising, even if they don't make surpluses. If you can't charge the people that receive your services then you need to find an enterprising solution that enables them to support you to support them. For example, they volunteer to deliver your gardening/café/recycling/retail/transport services that are paid for by people that can afford to pay, and the profits generated from those enterprises are used to deliver the services that can't be funded or paid for.
Without a sustainable balance of all of these pillars then you're just building castles in the air.
You should also contact your local Council for Voluntary Services or local authority VCS funding officer who ought to be able to tell you what you would be eligible to apply for or buy this https://www.dsc.org.uk/publication/the-directory-of-grant-making-tr...
Hope this helps a bit,
in addition to what has Nick has on donations, if the activity itself that you are seeking funding for is considered charitable then CICs can list a donation page on https://localgiving.org/ and receive Gift Aid for donations received through the site.