Merry Christmas to all friends and supporters of CICs and community enterprise.
Proud to have been part of the CIC 10th Anniversary celebrations this year (some reflections follow below) and looking forward to the next decade!
Issues and challenges for CICs in accounting for social impact
Figures never tell the whole story – numbers by themselves are never enough. Telling the people stories well really makes a difference.
Do we share an understanding of 'sustainability'?
It may help to re-visit the UN World Commission on Environment and Development (the 'Brundtland Commission' definition of 'sustainable development':
‘Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’
That inherently includes environmental care and custodianship.
When we think about how we communicate on 'community' and 'community benefit' (both of which have legal parameters for CICs), let's also re-visit how each CIC might reasonably go about:
Assessing its own social impact (internally and by itself and/or using any external standards or measures and/or any external assessors)
How it might do that in the context of its own ‘community benefit’ objects (which are its absolute legal parameters and also its fundamental ‘drivers’)
And how it might then communicate the impact that those assessments evidence the organisation is having - not just in its statutory annual community benefit report but in all its communications and all its relationships.
Wishing you all every success in 2016.
Cecile Gillard, Charities, Social Enterprise and Civil Society
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