CIC Association

Serving Community Enterprise

One of the things that the CIC Association can offer the emerging CIC community is online facilities.

This group is set up to discuss the various applications that could be fostered or developed for CICs.

The following ideas have been discussed

- an online marketplace
- a directory of CIC's
- a pooled community blog of CIC ress releases and stories
- a regular email to all CIC's
- an online advertising network hosted on CIC's websites
- a pool of case studies and printable information about CICs to show to stakeholders, banks, investors etc
- some "How to" guides for people starting out - how to get funding (especially as a lot of funders still haven't heard of CICs and will only fund charities), how to register, how to file accounts etc.
- social network integration with linkedIn, twitter, facebook etc

What does everyone think of these ideas? What is really important?

Lets discuss...

Views: 250

Replies to This Discussion

I think, in addition to the good ideas above would be some "How to" guides for people starting out - how to get funding (especially as a lot of funders still haven't heard of CICs and will only fund charities), how to register, how to file accounts etc.

Bik (The Art House)
Yep - thats a very good point - I will add it to the list!
Info for, and about CICs....its a bit of a mess at the mo......foundatons, banks, commissioners, business advisers, accountants and legals are all on the list, there's plenty of good info out there amongst all the indifferent and incorrect stuff, so it should just be a matter of filtering some of it into easy to use guides.

As for people starting out, the best material will come from the practical experience of existing CICs, we're already getting a lot of info assembled to put into practical 'How to' guides, templates for legals, example funding proposals and business plans etc, the key thing is to make sure they solve problems, not create more!
Maybe worth looking at some of the products from these guys
http://37signals.com/
very well designed and easy to use - they work for us on communicating - Campfire is nice for group chat as it uses virtual rooms that you enter and leave so it's easy to relate to.
Maybe we could also have something like
http://decknetwork.net/
where you control who is allowed to advertise, but we could all generate some income from having a link on our sites ?
Jon (miEnterprise)
Hi Jon

we use highrise a lot in our business www.ethical-junction.org - I haven't used Campfire though. They make it all very usable, don't they?

do you think it would work for a website or do you think its more of an internal thing? I like the idea of having chat rooms though - perhaps just letting CIC's know about 37 signals woudl be a good thing - we tried to come up with our own CRM for ages - then found Highrise and have never looked back! very affordable too
David Wilkinson from the Association of Community Amateur Sports Clubs & Community Interest Fundraisers ACASC/ACIF for short.

A regular E-mail Newsheet with Press releases and stories which could help other CIC's to learn from each other.

Also the directory in county division to include website details and E-mail contact would be useful.
I think this is a great idea - the only problem we have at the moment is resource! we'll get there though!
Hear hear!
Hi Matt - can you expand on the link exchange program? And how do you think we could best support the development of strategic alliances? What you say has great resonance with all that we have heard in putting the CIC Association together - what do we actually need to DO in your opinion?

thanks for contributing!
As we all need to trade lets get on with the business. As diverse as we are, in the commercial activities we provide, a focused online marketplace needs to be marketed nationally across all business sectors. This needs to be done in a professional manner. The more income we can generate the more people we can help through our aims and objectives.

More emails are not necessarily the best way of keeping all up to date.

Steve
Hi Steve

Thanks for getting involved! I agree with you - increasing trade done by CICs is what this is all about. I think an online marketplace is very important too. My nagging doubt is that there aren't actually that many products that CIC's produce - I hope to be proved wrong! Do you know what I mean? What kind of products do you see being marketed in the database? Or do you see it as a resource to grow in to as we do get manufacturer and retailing CIC's forming?

I think there is a happy medium between allowing people to take RSS feeds/visit the site and providing a newsletter to those that want to recieve it.

Tom
I agree with the thinking that we already have a plethora of online fora through which we can network and find resources, we must keep focussed on how to add value to CiC development strategically and how we can mentor up & coming CiCs. For my part I would like to see more trading connections and opportunities developing. I would like to be able to offer a UK wide service over the next 18 - 24 months, I need to find like minded groups I can work with. We will also have products which we will be manufacturing and could offer UK wide. More of this thinking from others please?

Malc

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