Growing your organisation

Community groups can start out small and informal, but they may at some point want to take on more and formalise their organisation.  The resources below are geared towards building the capacity of groups at an organisational level.

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ACE Guide

The ACE (Achieving Community Empowerment) process is intended to help community groups and organisations become more confident, better organised, and more effective in achieving their aims.

The process guides community groups, and those who work with them, through a critical review of their roles, relationships and ambitions so that they can be as effective as possible in achieving their aims and improving their communities. The guide should help community groups take the appropriate steps to become more effective and it should also prove helpful for community workers and others who want to encourage stronger and more active communities.

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Becoming a charity

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) has a handy section which takes you through the process of becoming a charity, as well as helping you to think about whether or not this is the right move for your group.

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Building Stronger Communities

BSC cover

Building Stronger Communities sets out a common framework to help partners at strategic, practitioner and community levels to adopt a strategic participatory approach to building community capacity, including buidling communtiy organisations.  

It is aimed at a strategic level but is a vital resource for anyone involved in building the skills, confidence and organisation of communities.  It is available to download for free from Scottish Community Development Centre's website.

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Community Food & Health Scotland

CFHS logoCommunity Food & Health Scotland (CFHS) supports community projects related to food and health.  However, this advice and resources page will be relevant to many community groups. It includes information on planning & management, funding, working with volunteers, networking and evaluation.

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Community Matters

Community Matters logoCommunity Matters is the national membership and support organisation for the community sector in England and Wales.  Although it doesn't cover Scotland, many of the resources will be relevant to Scottish community groups who want to develop as an organisation.  Advice ranges from setting up your organisation to music licensing.

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Community Toolkit

Community ToolkitThe Community Toolkit was developed by Skye & Lochalsh Council for Voluntary Organisations and has been adopted by local voluntary sector support organisations across Scotland.  The toolkit contains information on organisational matters such as setting up a board, choosing an organisational structure, witing a consititution  and achieving charitable status.

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Development Impact and You

DIY toolkit logoNesta's Development Impact and You (DIY) toolkit contains a selection of innovation tools that should help you invent, adopt or adapt ideas that can deliver better results.  Visit the free toolkit for tools to help you plan, prioritise and problem solve amongst other things.

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Equality and Human Rights Performance Framework

This online framework helps your organsiation to use equality and human rights more effectively in your work.  It enables you to assess your performance, plan your next steps and track your progress.EHRPF logo

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Just Act

Just Act logoCreated by the English-based Community Development Foundation (CDF), Just Act is a website for community groups which contains a wealth of information, ranging from guides to planning your project to how to work with people of different ages.  See the site's Knowledge Bank for more.

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Running your organisation

SCVO logoThis web resource from Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations should help get you started when it comes to the governance, legal, financial and management sides of your community organisation.

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SCIOs: A Guide

SCIO guide coverMany community organisations are setting themselves up as Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations (SCIO).  This guide from the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) takes you through the process of becoming a SCIO. 

For a quick introduction there is also this Frequently Asked Questions sheet

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Setting up a charity: FAQs

Some things to think about if your group is considering becoming a charity.  See OSCR's Becoming a Charity page above for more on this.

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Supporting Communities

Supporting Communities

Supporting Communities: The Way Ahead is a package of free capacity-building support for community groups in Scotland. Delivered by Scottish Community Development Centre, this consultancy support is intended to enable community organisations (at all levels and stages) to improve their effectiveness and influence over the community needs and priorities that they are involved in tackling.

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