Interview We talk to Kenneth Ferguson
social, strategic and sustainable investment and innovation
Issue 2 // December 2012
More Than Just Luck The Big Lottery’s Jackie Killeen discusses why they invest ALBs
We look at the potential future of Arm’s Length Trading Bodies
Jackie Scutt discusses GCU’s unique Masters degree
Robert Tamburrini talks about the success of NG Homes
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SI magazine December 2012
IN THIS ISSUE Page 7
MAGAZINE www.simagazine.co.uk SI magazine is a quarterly digital publication designed to bring together original content which affects business within the third sector at a strategic level such as grant and loan funding, partnerships, social enterprise and efficiencies.
Published by Spectrum Solutions Publisher Andy Crielly firstname.lastname@example.org Registered office Spectrum Outsourced Solutions Ltd, Catchpell House, Carpet Lane, Edinburgh, EH6 6SP Editorial support Declan Murphy email@example.com Editorial steering panel Social Enterprise Scotland, Scottish Community Foundation, SCFDG, ACOSVO, Scottish Financial Enterprise, Inspiring Scotland. Advertising Lesley Fraser firstname.lastname@example.org Graphic design LBD Design and Print www.lbd.uk.net The views expressed in SI magazine are those of invited contributors and not necessarily those of Spectrum Solutions. Spectrum Solutions does not endorse any goods or services advertised or any claims or representations made in any advertisement in SI magagazine, and accepts no liability to any person for loss or damage suffered asa consequence of their responding to, or reliance on, any claim or representation made in advertisements appearing in SI magazine. By responding or placing reliance, readers accept that they do so at their own risk.
Headline Interview Jackie Killeen, Scottish Director of the Big Lottery Fund
10 Lead Article The future of ALBs
14 Granted We speak to Kenneth Ferguson, Chief Executive of the Robertson Trust
18 Philanthropy 20 Social Enterprise Jackie Scutt talks about CGU’s Social Enterprise Masters degree Unity Trust Bank’s Adam Fuffinato on a different approach to banking
26 Leading by Example Chris McNaught looks back at 40 years in the Children’s sector; We examine some of the ground-breaking work being undertaken by Quarriers; Robert Tamburrini tells us the secret to NG Homes’ success
34 Balancing the Books 38 Upcoming Events
PUBLISHED BY: ©2012 Spectrum Solutions. Reproduction in whole or part is forbidden without the written consent of the publisher.
SCF debate raises food for thought The Scottish Community Foundation in association with with Adam and Company are joined by over 200 influential Scottish philanthropists during an energetic and passion fuelled debate.
A group of influential philanthropists, attending the Scottish Community Foundation’s Philanthropy debate on 6th November were shocked and alarmed at the growing number of people in 21st Century Scotland who are close to the poverty line and reliant on food banks. In a failing economy – it is food bank charities that are booming. Panellist, Marcelle Speller OBE, founder of Localgiving.com commented “The debate highlighted the great opportunity to make a difference in your local area including supporting food banks. This is the core message of localgiving.com the organisation I founded to shine a light on
the important work of local charities and community groups.” The debate was chaired by the BBC’s Sally Magnusson, and attended by 200 high profile philanthropists, entrepreneurs, business and third sector organisations from across Scotland. The overall aim of the evening was to consider what philanthropists and charities can do better and whether philanthropists should put their heads above the parapet and play an increasing role in society. Giles Ruck, chief executive of the Scottish Community Foundation said:
“This year’s debate tackled a number of key issues affecting society and the role philanthropy has to play. One issue that created some lively discussion was the growing number of families nearing the poverty line despite Scotland, being known for its generosity that this trend is growing at an alarming rate. SCF has seen a growing number of applications from organisations seeking to fund food banks.” Image above: (from left to right) Panelist Angus MacDonald OBE; Giles Ruck, CEO Scottish Community Foundation; Panelist, Fraser Doherty; Maya Prabhu, Head of UK Philanthropy Coutts; Panelist Marcelle Speller, OBE; SCF Chair Tom Ward; Sally Magnusson and Panelist, Lord Smith of Kelvin.
SI magazine December 2012
Celebrating Scotland’s social entrepreneurs Johann Lamont MSP, Leader, Scottish Labour Party and Cabinet Secretary John Swinney MSP announce the winners of the annual Scottish Social Enterprise Awards.
Cabinet Secretary John Swinney MSP, with children from Udston Primary School, winners of the Youth Led Social Enterprise of the Year (© Becky Duncan Photography)
At a reception in The Scottish Parliament on Tuesday 13th November, the winners of the annual Scottish Social Enterprise Awards 2012 were presented with unique trophies at a special awards ceremony. Judged by a panel composed of figures like Alf Young, freelance journalist and Chair of Social Investment Scotland, Linda Hanna of Scottish Enterprise and Gordon Merrylees of RBS, winners included Talking Mats in Stirling for Start Up Social Enterprise of the Year and International Network of Street Papers (INSP) in Glasgow for Social Enterprise Supporter of the Year. Fraser Kelly, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise Scotland, said “ With a 100% increase in applications this year, it just goes to show the imagination, strength and ambition of social enterprise in Scotland.” For more information on Social Enterprise Scotland and the Scottish Social Enterprise Awards, contact Duncan Thorp on 0131 243 2654 or duncan.thorp@ socialenterprisescotland.org.uk
Westminster pushing SIBs ahead
SCFD Annual Conference 2012
Government commits funds to secure SIB projects in England
The Scottish Charity Finance Directors Group held its Annual Conference on Tuesday 4th December 2012. Situated at the Surgeons’ Hall in Edinburgh, guests were welcomed by Paul Bannon, SCFDG Convener and the session was chaired by Gillian Donald, ScottMoncrieff.
Nick Hurd, the Minister for Civil Society, announced on November 23rd that the coalition government will set aside £20m in a new social outcomes fund to help speed up two schemes covering teenagers in care and homelessness. The first of the SIBs will provide intensive support to 380 adolescents and their families which is an association between Essex county council, Big Society Capital and Bridges Ventures. The second project was developed between the mayor of London and the charities St Mungo’s and ThamesReach; it will support 800 rough sleepers who are neither longterm nor new to the streets. Speaking about the tax payer’s cash injection into the schemes, Nick Hurd said: “Social impact bonds are opening up serious resources to tackle social problems in new and innovative ways. This is about communities, businesses and charities all working together to change people’s lives, whilst at the same time making savings for the taxpayer.”
A number of distinguished guests presented on a host of issues, including Iain Scott, Cognitive Business Therapy on Entrepreneurship and Innovation and David Price, Charities Aid Foundation with an economic review of the charity sector.
3.1% salary decreases for charity CEOs New research from the ACEVO Pay Survey 2012 has revealed that the median annual salary of a charity chief executive has decreased from £60,000 to £58,139. 51% of the 576 chief executives interviewed by ACEVO saw their pay freeze or fall in 2012. Of the CEOs that did see their pay increase, 65% said it was in line with inflation only. Sir Stephen Bubb, chief executive of ACEVO, said: “This year’s Pay Survey results show that voluntary sector leaders are reacting responsibly to the financial problems of the sector by exercising pay restraint.” The survey also found that the gender gap in Chief Executive pay has actually reduced from 15.9% to 10.1% since 2011, meaning that the median salary of a male chief executive is £62,000 compared to £54,500 for their female peers.
December 2012 SI magazine
SI NEWS 15,000 participants take part, and has raised more than £12.5 million for charity. All the funds raised through the Challenge are managed and distributed by the Scottish Community Foundation (SCF) to help strengthen communities across Scotland.
The European Venture Philanthropy Association’s annual conference Backing the change-makers in a time of uncertainty: can we do more?” The 8th European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA) Annual Conference, took place in Dublin this year on the 13-14 November. The conference gathered around 400 leaders from a variety of sectors, such as venture philanthropy and social investment funds, private equity/venture capital firms, donors, advisory firms, foundations, banks, academics and some selected social entrepreneurs. It confirmed one of the key distinguishing factors of EVPA: the capacity to attract and gather diverse players to discuss, share and create greater knowledge. Keynote speakers included: Paul Carttar, Former Director of the Obama’s Social Innovation Fund, who showed how government and venture philanthropy can work together by drawing attention to his personal journey and experience. His key message was that both government and VP are critical and necessary to realizing the potential of social change and VP organisations should see governments not only as grantmakers, they should also propose solutions to them. 4
Finally Mary Robinson, President of the Mary Robinson Foundation, inspired delegates and highlighted the need of change-makers with a passion for social justice to really make a difference in difficult times. She highlighted that there is no Plan B and urged world leaders to begin looking at problems from the standpoint of those experiencing the hardships and to do more not only combat climate change, but also work to improve healthcare and education. Find out more about EVPA: http:// evpa.eu.com/
New sponsorship deal for top Scottish charity event Scotland’s premier outdoor charity event, the Caledonian Challenge, announces long term partnership deal with Edinburgh-based investment management partnership, Baillie Gifford. Beginning with the 2013 event, Baillie Gifford has agreed a deal, which will see them as lead supporter of the the Challenge for the next three years. The Caledonian Challenge has helped raise funds for worthy causes throughout Scotland over the past 16 years. Since it’s creation, the Caledonian Challenge has seen
The partnership formed between the Caledonian Challenge and Baillie Gifford will help the Challenge remain as one the top charity fundraising events in the UK. It will ensure that the experience gained by participants is one that will be with them for a long time, and one that will encourage them to come back year after year. Sarah Whitley, partner at Baillie Gifford, said: “The Caledonian Challenge is a unique experience, forging teamwork and testing individuals while raising money for good causes. The Scottish Community Foundation’s knowledge of charities at the community level means that money raised via the Challenge is then put to use where it can have the most positive local impact. Teams from Baillie Gifford have played an active role in the Challenge as participants over many years. To sign up or find out more visit www.caledonianchallenge.com/ signup
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Not Just a Cheque Book
Jackie Killeen invites Declan Murphy inside Big Lottery Fund Scotland and explains how relationships are key to creating and funding a vibrant and successful, outcomes based third sector.
ith beautiful vast views overlooking the River Clyde on a fourth floor open plan office in the centre of Glasgow, is the Scottish headquarters of the Big Lottery Fund. For eight years it has been engaging in relationships with the full spectrum of the third sector. Within that short period it has become the largest of the Lottery distributors – responsible for 40% of all the money raised by the National Lottery Good Causes – and one of the largest funders of the third sector in Scotland. In monetary terms, that 6
equates to funding awards of over £60m a year. With fifteen active funding programs, the most prominent being Investing in Communities, the Big Lottery Fund is targeting some of the most challenging issues in Scottish society. They are able to make an impact on the entrenched issues precisely because of the full spectrum relationships they have with third sector organisations, ‘the people best placed on the ground to make those changes,’ says Jackie Killeen.
It is Jackie who heads up this small but impressive team of staff and it is she who is responsible for the development of the Big Lottery Fund Scotland’s funding and strategic policy and its engagement with the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament. With experience and insight at both a grassroots and executive management level in the third sector, Jackie was Head of Policy and Public Affairs at the Big Lottery Fund Scotland for six years before she was appointed to the post of Director in March 2011.
SI magazine December 2012
Having a sound approach to business planning and management is a real strength in giving us confidence that the organisation is capable of delivering. Jackie Killeen Director of the Big Lottery Fund Scotland
Charities and organisations which apply for funding from the Big Lottery Fund Scotland are increasingly finding it hard to locate and utilise appropriate professional services which will not only help their development and outcomes but help the Big Lottery Fund Scotland meet its objectives of bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need in Scotland. With such an influential role in the third sector, how has the Big Lottery Fund Scotland tried to address this problem? ‘We provide development support and access to expert advice from the beginning of our relationships with charitable organisations. We have a development team at what we call the ‘Front Door’. They run an initial health check on how an organisation is looking in respect of what they are proposing to do and if that might stretch them in terms of their size, experience and balance sheet. We have a pretty good and experienced team at that Front Door who are good at knowing the right questions to ask. They will meet and talk on the phone and they will have a good conversation about what the organisation wants to do, where the organisation what to be and where they are now. They will make a judgment if an organisation needs further advise and help.’ How does that development support conversation occur at the Big Lottery Fund Scotland? ‘What is important to note about any
of the advice and help we provide, is it’s not a mechanical thing but arises out of being a funder that has a relationship. Very few funders would want to be known as just a cash machine. We want to be able to apply what we have learnt and bring our expertise in a helpful way. We also recognise that there is no way we can achieve the outcomes that we are wanting to achieve for communities in Scotland without a partnership approach with the organisations we are funding and working with – that is very much crucial.’ Going into specifics, what kind of advice and help can the Front Door team offer funding applicants? ‘One of the avenues the Front Door team can recommend to a charity is the specialist contractors we work with. These contractors offer advice and help in the areas of business and financial planning, evaluation and self-evaluation and renewables. Our business and financial planning contract, for example, is with the Social Investment Business who can provide professional accountancy
skills, people with an understanding of a third sector organisation’s balance sheet or the complexity of different income streams. They can help an organisation make judgements about when it is healthy to start a project, what they need to see in terms of liquidity or if they could take on an overdraft facility.’ ‘The second area – self-evaluation – is something we have always been big champions of. It is very important that organisations are able to understand the effectiveness of what they do and that they are able to adapt to learning and a changing approach. It is also increasingly important that organisations are able to credibly communicate their impact to others, not just fenders and commissioners, but they are able to talk to policy makers and government about the effectiveness of their model.’ If we look at an issue like sustainability – another important challenge that charitable organisations are having to deal with – how important is it to the 7
December 2012 SI magazine
Big Lottery Fund Scotland that suitability is achieved and how does the third sector go about that? ‘We work quite hard to encourage organisations to be thinking about their business model and their business stream from as early as possible and in the broadest of terms. Having a sound approach to business planning and management is a real strength that gives us confidence that the organisation is capable of delivering. We would be reminding and checking in with an organisation throughout the relationship period on their exit strategy or funding after our award has ended. Our funding relationships are very much about checking in because sometimes an organisation can be very focused on delivery and forget to look up and see the bigger picture.’ 8
Investing in Ideas is another exciting and untraditional funding approach that has been developed at the Big Lottery Fund Scotland which is helping charities in quality decision making. ‘Indeed, this is a source of funding that organisations or groups can approach when they are thinking about something new or different but they are not sure if it will work or if its right for them. It is one of those things were an outcome can be not to go ahead with something as much as it can be a decision to change the approach. We are keen to see people who are thinking about doing something new and are ready to take the opportunity to research as much as they can before they commit to it. By doing so they are making their proposal as strong as possible and are prepared for what they are embarking on.’
Getting into the mechanics of the application process, what does deciding which projects should be funded entail? ‘We have a two stage process; at stage one applications give us just enough information to judge if they should be vetted from the process because they are not appropriate to our aims, if they still require some development help or if they should be invited straight to stage two. Stage two is where we are looking for far more details about delivery plans, track records, financial health, the experience of the organisation and the expertise it has, the evidence base for choosing the approach and how that stacks up against the outcomes. In essence, what is the applicant’s ability to deliver. One additional aspect that is also important to us is how much user involvement there has
SI magazine December 2012
Even though times are extremely hard and challenging, we need our third sector leaders and innovators to still be able to see the bigger picture, to think ahead. Jackie Killeen Director of the Big Lottery Fund Scotland
Left: Jackie and children from the Loanhead Community Learning Centre at the launch of our Community Spaces program
been, how much the people at the receiving end of the work have had a voice in the project process.’ If they are successful at stage two, applications are presented to our board of committee members. These are individuals from various professional fields and areas of Scotland who apply their skills and experiences in deciding which organisations are successful in being awarded funding. ‘There are applications that do not fit or do not have a huge chance of getting accepted, so we have tried really hard over the last three to four years to avoid people wasting their time and their resources. We achieve that by being very clear to the applicant about what our priorities are and clear about the outcomes we are looking for so they can selfselect. We also ask ourselves if
the application is a priority for our funding, how close is that fit and would we be at risk of asking an organisation to crow bar what it really wants to do into something which works for us.’
Even though times are extremely hard and challenging, we need our third sector leaders and innovators to still be able to see the bigger picture, to think ahead and continue leading that positive change.’
Reflecting on the third sector as a whole, where does it find itself at the end 2012? ‘Like all sectors, the third sector has experienced change but it has also taken a proactive approach and lead quite a lot of change. It has been far more able to demonstrate the value of its way of working to government and to others than the public or private sector. Some of the most cutting edge approaches and real innovation has come from third sector organisations because they are closest to what is happening on the ground and what is coming up.
And the Big Lottery Fund Scotland, what is its future in 2013 and beyond? ‘In terms of our future, we always want to deploy every resource at our disposal to help achieve the best possible outcomes for people and families. That means finding funding for the most effective organisations, making sure that we are not only capturing and sharing learning but that we are working closely with other funders, researchers, policy makers and government. Scotland is a small country and we should be doing our best to share and pull in the one direction.’ 9
December 2012 SI magazine
Are we still at arms reach from understanding
armâ€™s-length bodies? They have been a key feature of government for centuries but do we know as little about the bodies delivering some of our key public services now than we ever have?
SI magazine December 2012
ith the era of austerity and planned spending cuts expected to run into the next half of this decade, delivering public services at a cost effective rate without compromising quality has dominated third sector organisations which receive public funding as well as local and national governments. In Scotland, legislation has compounded the matter further as the 2012 Sustainable Procurement Bill seeks to ensure organisations ‘meet their needs for goods, services, works and utilities in a way that achieves value for money.’ One of the alternatives being increasingly examined are arm’slength bodies (ALBS)/arm’s-length external organisations (ALEOs) ALBs are not a new phenomenon but have been used by government at local, devolved and Westminster level as far back as 1845 when the Met Office was set up as one of the first ALBs. Since the current coalition government has been in power, they have attempted to reduce the £59.8bn it spends annually funding ALBs by abolishing 100 of the organisations. By comparison the trend in local government has been the reverse; in the last number of years there has been a significant increase in the number of armslength bodies being set up. Most of Scotland’s 32 unitary authorities have an ALB contract, with 400 estimated to be in current operation. Scottish Borders council, for example, use the ALB Borders Sports & Leisure Trust to deliver their Active Schools Program and
eight Community Sports & Leisure Facilities. In the UK as a whole, ALBs are thought to total 6000. Audit Scotland provides one the best definitions for ALBs: ‘Companies, trusts and other bodies that are separate from the local authority but are subject to local authority control or influence. Control or influence can be through the Council having representation on the board of the organisation, and/or through the council being a main funder or shareholder of the organisation.’ Three further characteristics can be drawn out which capture ALBs operalisation: Increasing effective service delivery – Cornwall City Council earlier this April set up new ALBs to cover road maintenance and other neighborhood services which will save them £6m per year. Decision making takes place independently of party political considerations, making it better equipped to navigate politically difficult issues – tensions in Ireland saw the creation of the Parades Commission and Sentence Review Commission ALB. Relevant professional expertise and the service user have a greater opportunity to bear on public policy making – the boards of arm’s-length management organisations, bodies set up by councils to manage and improve local authority housing stocks, are structured to guarantee that one-third of members are council tenants.
in these tough times, where every pound spent is potentially scrutinised for its effectiveness in delivering the service, it’s vital that boards keep an eye on the management and budget controls are tight Malcolm Rust Partner at Shepherd and Wedderburn
cover story Since the economic crisis, ALBs are enjoying a second lease of life as councils are under pressure to save money on an unprecedented scale.
Since the economic crisis, ALBs are enjoying a second lease of life as councils are under pressure to save money on an unprecedented scale; the promise of effective public service delivery is a proposition seriously worth considering. Before ALBs become an even bigger part of mainstream service delivery, work is needed to help educate the sector and the public about their aims and how they operate. Do ALBs cost more than they save? Research conducted by Westminster in 2010 suggested that the government could save £5.2bn if it abolished 177 of the ‘vast bureaucratic and unaccountable bodies.’ Labour accused the government of acting like ‘the most expensive butcher in the country’ when it was not clear if the costs associated with closing ALBs would lead to any savings and in fact, could end up costing money. The definitions used to describe ALBs are criticised as being too broad, with no clear lines distinguishing which organisations are ALBs and which are not. Using Audit Scotland’s definition for example, it could be assumed that a community planning partnership or a licensing board are examples of ALBs, but in reality these organisations are not. Democratic accountability is another point of contention expressed about ALBs. During the consultation period on the Freedom of Information (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill, Scotland’s Trade Union Centre produced a report which stated it had 12
a, ‘general concern that provisions put in place to provide transparency and protection regarding the running of our public services, generally break down when those services are delivered by arm’s length organisations.’ One of the recommendations STUC suggested was for ‘organisations like housing associations to be finally brought under the same scrutiny as centrally delivered services.’ In 2012, John Pentland MSP, raised the issue with the Local Government and Regeneration Committee that ‘people who work for council’s arm’s-length organisations are unsure whether they will have to resign if they become councillors.’ In a similar vein, Hugh Henry MSP asked the Committee on the Accounts Commission in 2011 if councillors were prohibited from working for ALEOs established by their councils. The Commission reported back saying: ‘Our report on ALEOs states that councils are responsible for ensuring that the public money they provide to ALEOs is used properly and that this requires good governance and clear roles and responsibilities. Councillors who are involved with ALEOs in any capacity need to be aware of the potential for conflicts of interest.’ Malcolm Rust, Partner at Shepherd and Wedderburn, agrees with such statements, saying: ‘the issues
around conflicts of interest are particularly relevant and every ALB should have a well-developed conflicts of interest policy statement to guide it’s directors on strategies to address such conflicts when they inevitably arise.’ Malcolm argues that what is key for the stakeholders (i.e. the service users) is that the ‘operations of every ALB are transparent and well governed. Particularly in these tough times, where every pound spent is potentially scrutinised for its effectiveness in delivering the service, it’s vital that boards keep an eye on the management and budget controls are tight.’ Evidently, there are still implications in the governance and democratic accountability of ALBs which have not been resolved. Part of the recent Sustainable Procurement Bill is tasked with ensuring that public bodies adopt ‘transparent, streamlined and standardised procurement processes that are friendly to Scottish businesses.’ Government are slowly beginning to implement a legal impetus on ALBs but with the numbers likely to increase as budget pressures rise and councils are forced to consider alternative ways of delivering services, will it be enough to address the sectors concerns or are we still at arm’s reach from understanding arm’s-length bodies?
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December 2012 SI magazine
Mapping Scotland’s Third Sector Future Declan Murphy talks to Kenneth Ferguson about achieving sustainability in charities and intelligent funding in grant making Trusts.
or fifty one years the Robertson Trust has been operating as one of Scotland’s largest independent grant-making Trusts. The historical figure of awards the Trust has made is over £110m, and in 2011 the Trust made its highest level of awards to date at £11.4m in the areas of care, health, education, training, community art and sport. Despite the different changes over the years in the Robertson Trust and the environment it works in, it continues to be guided by the same principles first envisioned by
it’s founders Elspeth, Agnes and Ethel Robertson in 1961 – honesty, integrity and a willingness to improve life for as many people in Scotland. Kenneth Ferguson is the individual who has taken on the task of continuing and building upon the work of the Robertson sisters, whom he believes are the ‘unsung heroines of philanthropy.’ Appointed Director in June 2011, Kenneth is a Chartered Accountant by training and previously worked in Industry and at the Foreign Office in London. ‘It was
a heart for charity, especially outside of my work,’ Kenneth says, ‘which really drew me into working in the third sector.’ He adds, jokingly, that coming from being an Accountant, ‘I find it hugely therapeutic to now be able to give money away!’ I began by asking Kenneth what he believes is the key issue facing the third sector in Scotland in 2012? ‘One of the key big issues we are interested in examining and helping to address is how organisations move from purely a grant basis
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Granted The days of the black box whereby you make your application and you get an answer a few months later are gone. Kenneth Ferguson Director of the Robertson Trust
into a sustainability position. A lot of third sector organisations can see that they cannot solely rely on grant funding. This is where social investment comes into the equation as a means of trying to achieve that sustainability.’ ‘Similarly, grant funders are in a situation where their income is going down because the stock market has underperformed or there is a drop in interest rates. It means they are not only having to be careful about how they are spending but need to consider how a project is going to continue in the long term if ongoing funding cannot be guaranteed.’ ‘What grant making bodies are seeing is charitable organisations looking at different models. If you look down south, there is a lot of discussion around SIBs and whether that is going to be the solution for a number of organisations. Some charities are saying that they are going to fundraise harder while others are going to diversify the amount of grants and trust funds they are applying to. There is still considerable uncertainty within organisations that we talk to about how they can achieve sustainability, but there is an openness and willingness among the third sector to try.’ What do you see as the solution to addressing these uncertainties over sustainability? ‘From our perspective, we are very keen to see the government step in, after all a number of the charitable 16
services in Scotland are done on behalf of and paid for by local authorities. The problem is these contracts are usually on one year SLAs, making it a pretty fraught environment for charities. That is why we are encouraging the government to examine SIBs and PSPs. Scotland has a very different landscape and attitude coming from government; we have found central government willing to discuss SIBs and PSPs and how they can best support the third sector. The Robertson Trust has found them very willing to look at evidence and we found it very much an open door. However I would say that one of the big things we have found is there seems to be little appetite for SIBs coming from government; there is a manifesto commitment to three SIBs in Scotland but beyond that there does not seem to be a great appetite.’ Why do you think such an appetite does not exist? ‘It is probably because there is a lack of evidence that it works and there is a cultural fit which SIBs tends not to have within the sector. There is a lack
of financial infrastructure to support SIBs in Scotland; if you are talking about the city of London, you have a completely different scenario but in Scotland we do not have that level of developed thinking. The other big difference is that SIBs do not have the political drivers or imperatives behind it which exist in the coalition government at Westminster.’ ‘I do believe that PSPs could have a much greater role within Scotland. We can see that there are flaws within the PSP model but I think we would be interested in seeing how the flaws could be addressed in order to make it wider in scale and applicable in Scotland. From our point of view, the PSP model fits very nicely with a grant funder where you have that period of risk during the trial year. Grant funders are quite happy to take that risk on because we know at the end of the trial, if it is a success at returning outcomes, it will be taken up by a local authority or government – giving it a measure of sustainability.’ Beside the lack of government appetite, how do SIBs sit with the
SI magazine December 2012
We are not about process but the underlying reality’; ‘we have found is there to be little appetite for SIBs coming from government; there is a manifesto commitment to three SIBs in Scotland but beyond that there does not seem to be a great appetite. Kenneth Ferguson Director of the Robertson Trust
Robertson Trust as a model? ‘As a grant funder we are not looking for a financial return on our investment because we are not set up to make investments; we are set up to make grants and our charitable purpose to give money away. I can understand that there is an argument about using our capital or our investments in a different way to produce that return but that is a separate issue. Our trustees would find it easier to maximise our investment but when you start to cloud an investment with part of your social objectives, then I think you can get into quite a difficult situation.’ From the perspective of grant making Trusts, what challenges are they facing? ‘All funders are on a journey and they are all finding that their thinking is evolving. The days of the black box whereby you make your application and you get an answer a few months later are gone. As a member of the Scottish Granting Making Trust Group, the Robertson Trust and others are really excited about how we can be better and more intelligent funders in terms of who we are giving our money to, how we are giving our money and how we reach the outcomes we are so keen to achieve.’
What exactly makes a ‘better and more intelligent’ funder? ‘There are several things grant making Trusts are doing to become more intelligent. One is to work more closely together to help identify who are the most effective within sectors and prevent duplication of work. We are sharing information better through concepts like harmonising reporting, which is lessening the demands on charities by establishing a standardised form of reporting rather than a mix-match bag.’ ‘Better communication with the organisations we fund and a better understanding of them is another way we are becoming intelligent. We spend a significant portion of our staff’s time meeting with organisations, understanding the projects they are hoping to initiate and trying to understand outcomes. Most charities are already stretched and the last thing we want to do is to add to their burden; we are trying to lighten that burden, make it easier for them to speak to us.’ ‘Building new relationships, especially with government is another
example of intelligent change. I know some funders are sitting as observers on community planning partnerships to better understand how local authorities are setting their objectives for funding. That is an interesting development – a better understanding of what is going on at the grassroots, which makes them more intelligent about how they are able to fund.’ ‘It is also about education – making charities understand what the funder is looking to support. Most charities do not understand that the majority of funders want to give money away but they have to understand what we want to give money to. Particularly for the smaller charities there is a huge reserve about approaching funders and actually presenting their ideas and work. We are not about process but the underlying reality, but a lot of charities do themselves a disservice by thinking they have to present in a rigid format. We always want to see passion; we want to see the heart that people have to want to make a real difference, to change.’ 17
Philanthropy Fellowship Scottish Community Foundation talks about their involvement in an exciting Philanthropy Fellowship.
he Philanthropy Fellowship is a new and unique network for established and emerging philanthropists in the UK supported by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation. With a program base in all parts of the UK, the Scottish arm of the Fellowship is headed up by the Scottish Community Foundation. ‘We believe that establishing a Fellowship will achieve something in the philanthropy market which donors are beginning to ask for, which is not yet provided in Scotland,’ say Jan Torrence, Head of Communications at SCF. ‘People committed to making a difference through their giving often struggle to meet like-minded peers, so the purpose of the Fellowship is to connect donors, to share, learn and become inspired.’ The Philanthropy Fellowship aims to support philanthropists to be 18
effective and influential donors and to foster a greater culture of philanthropy. Fellows gain exclusive access to a stimulating program, which includes Insights Visits, Philanthropy Seminars and Forums. Explaining the program in greater detail Jan Torrence says the visits will ‘highlight effective approaches to tackling social issues, hosted by philanthropists giving in the area. Seminars will explore issues around the table, with expert contributors and other Fellows. Larger forum events will also feature specialists in presentations and panel discussions. The opportunity to network with other Fellows will be built into these events and Scottish Fellows will also be able to attend Fellowship sessions elsewhere in the UK. Fellows will meet one-to-one with a Foundation
representative, to reflect on their own philanthropy and develop a strategy for giving, where desired.’ It is hoped that over time that Fellowship Program will be developed by Fellows themselves. There will be a number of current and topical themes that the Philanthropy Fellowship will examine and use to stimulate debate among the philanthropists. Examples of these range from early years and young people, to an ageing population, as well as community regeneration, arts & heritage and international development. Furthermore, it is expected the program will engage with issues that cover strategic philanthropy, social investment, venture philanthropy, measuring impact, giving as a family / business, giving circles, sustainability and exit strategies.
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Alan McNiven MSc Social Enterprise. Chief Executive, Engage Renfrewshire.
BRIGHTER FUTURES BEGIN WITH GCU. A unique programme in partnership with the Social Enterprise Academy for those working in and with social enterprises.
Glasgow Caledonian University is a registered Scottish charity, number SC021474
Not just your average degree T
he idea behind the MSc in Social Enterprise began over six years ago when Glasgow Caledonian University and the Social Enterprise Academy started to consider how they could provide voluntary and community-based organisations with techniques to aid them in demonstrating greater entrepreneurial flair, innovation and self-reliance. After a series of back and forth discussions, the relationship between the university and the Social Enterprise Academy was formalised in 2008.
evolved quite organically as it reflected the future direction in which the university and the Academy both wanted to head. In a way, we were able to compensate for what the other lacked; Glasgow Caledonian did not have the experience to teach social enterprise models while the Academy did not have the capacity or necessary structures to deliver the course. The relationship made the perfect fit and that is why I feel we deliver a top quality postgraduate qualification in Social Enterprise.’
Although it was Glasgow Caledonian that initially approached the Academy with the concept of such a program, Jackie Scutt, the lead contact and co-tutor from the Social Enterprise Academy who delivers the MSc, stresses that it was, ‘very much a co-creation between the two organisations. The relationship
Jackie’s own fit into the program is the result of an extensive and vast professional background in education, learning and development. ‘When I started out, the phrase social enterprise was obscure to the third sector,” says Jackie. ‘After working in colleges and small scale community based organisations for a number of
years, I became interested in social enterprise as a business model and entrepreneurial leadership as a dynamic approach.’ It was this that led her to founding and becoming the first CEO of the Social Enterprise Academy in 2004. This same experience, energy and passion have been applied to the task of designing and teaching the only postgraduate degree in Scotland specifically for the social enterprise sector. It is a Master’s program in name but its delivery signifies a different approach to the traditional classroom environment. Students attend three intensive conference style weekends per year which provides the basis of their independent study and work based projects. Jackie informs me that this was very much the intention, ‘we wanted to create something which was not a Monday to Friday
SI magazine December 2012
full time learning experience. This MSc was designed for managers in the sector, professionals involved in promoting social enterprise, aspiring and existing social entrepreneurs, public sector advisors, mentors and managers; we did not design a degree for your average student.’ There are currently fourteen students enrolled in year one of the MSc, ten in year two and year three will run for the first time in 2013. Already they testify to the impact of the program on their professional development. ‘Being able to get informed study from the GCU team, together with the ability to come together with other Social Enterprise practitioners in this structured manner,’ says Daniel Rous from Social Enterprise Development, ‘has been beneficial for me and my Social Enterprise alike.” The program is structured over three years; years one and two are split between theory and practice while year three is centered around the completion of a dissertation. ‘That split between theory and practice is really important,’ adds Jackie. ‘The theory side is about questioning the definitions we use and critically thinking about the specifics of social enterprise and how that fits in with the bigger picture at both a local, national and international level. To complement that, we examine the practical aspects of our subject. There is particular emphasis on how to make social enterprise theory workable in real life contexts. For example the Social Enterprise Action Research module requires the students to consider how social enterprise, as an economic model, can provide a solution to the social and economic conflicts that we face today. Another of the techniques we encourage is for students to shift their thinking on social enterprise, to look at it from the prospective of
The relationship made the perfect fit and that is why we feel we can deliver a top quality postgraduate qualification in Social Enterprise. Jackie Scutt One of the lead associate tutors from the Social Enterprise Academy delivering the MSC in Social Enterprise at GCU.
being on the receiving end of a project rather than being in it.’ ‘The dissertation module brings together the different theoretical and practical strands over the last two years and gives the students an opportunity to engage in a greater depth of study into a topic of relevance and interest to them. We are already looking at some promising proposals and research being considered by our students which I believe will have an impact far beyond the MSc classroom and could prove pioneering in the social enterprise sector.’ I ask Jackie what she thinks is the future for an MSc in Social Enterprise – will we see it replicated across universities in Scotland and will it become a more mainstream program of study which young people will want to pursue? She points towards the Academy’s Social Enterprise in School program as a clue. This program involves collaboration between pupils and teachers to establish links with their local community or a community abroad by means of a sustainable social enterprise project. The program currently dominates half of the
I believe this young generation will carry on that enthusiasm and passion for social enterprise into their academic studies.
Academy’s work and received a huge positive response from participating schools. ‘The Academy really has tapped into a source of enthusiasm and passion for social enterprise in young people through Social Enterprise in School. I see a 21st century mindset among the pupils of the different schools the Academy has worked with. They have a natural prosperity to want to do better, to want to conduct business along ethical grounds and to have social causes as the driving force behind their model. I believe this young generation will carry on that enthusiasm and passion for social enterprise into their academic studies. It is this generation that will create a demand on universities in the future to provide courses that target their needs as social entrepreneurs. The MSc in Social Enterprise between Glasgow Caledonian University and the Social Enterprise Academy has been a trailblazer in this regard and I feel proud to be part of a model that other higher education institutions will want to replicate and young people will want to study.’
Further information For further information about the MSc in Social Enterprise please contact Dr. John Connell on 0141 331 8278 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
December 2012 SI magazine
Putting ethics back in banking Adam Ruffinato on why the Unity Trust Bank has made him proud to be a banker.
t was a case of the writing on the wall for Adam Ruffinato back in the mid-2000s when he worked as Business Manager at one of the leading high street banks. ‘I became very disillusioned with the way we were expected to carry out our business. It was not about getting to know your customers but purely target driven and number crunching.’ It was at that juncture that Adam made the decision to move, firstly to a Building Society, and then to Unity Trust. ‘In the space of four years I have went from the high street banks to a socially responsible way of banking.’ Adam became the Relationship Manager for the North West of
England at Unity Trust Bank in 2008 and for the last two months, when the bank decided that it wanted to expand despite the economic situation, he was appointed as Head of Social Economy. Adam says: ‘We want our sector to bank with us, we want to lend money into the sector to help them grow and to help them achieve their aims. One of the ways we are looking to do that is by working with partners like SCVO to help promote the concept of joint borrowing within the social economy sector in Scotland. This and a range of other initiatives that we have underway, will all help build on the strong foundations we already have in Scotland.’
Unity Trust are trying to show that there is an alternative model available to the Scottish social economy. There is a consensus among the third sector that in general, there is lack of clarity and signposting to the right people, services and models that will help them make quality decision making, would you agree? I would; it still surprises me just how many organisations in the third sector do not know that there is another option, that they can do everything they did with a high street bank with a socially responsible bank. One of the ways we can achieve awareness is through collaborative working. A good example of this is the £50m
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Of course, it’s much more than a number to us. Every client is different and needs practical advice that is relevant to them. As the country’s leading adviser to the charity and not-for-profit sector, we ensure that each of our clients responds to the threats and opportunities presented by political and legal change. How do we do this? Well, because they are more than a number to us we know them well and understand their business and the issues that matter to them. THAT’S HOW.
loan fund we have committed over the next five years specifically for lending into charities and social enterprises in Scotland. We are able to do this because of a relationship with SCVO, who have a solid base and network in Scotland and are able to make their members and other organisations aware that there is an alternative. Do you think there is a difference between the Scottish third sector and their peers in the rest of the UK? When it comes to doing business at the end of the day, it comes down to whether you are able to meet the needs of the organisation. In that respect, Unity looks at all of its relationships in exactly the same way. So, whilst the sector in Scotland and the sector in England and Wales have their own identities, I think they are actually really good at working together, stepping outside those boundaries to get the job done. That is something which Unity Trust can help them achieve. How has the socially responsible banking model Unity practices been affected by the economic crisis? 24
I think what has happened with the banking crisis is interest rates have dropped, meaning there are less high interest products available to sell. At the same time, people have had to consider if their bank is even safe; people always assumed that banks conducted themselves in a regulated manner, were morally and ethically in line and that financially they were secure institutions. What has happened therefore is that people have not only stopped thinking about the interest rate side of things but thought more about the organisations they are doing business with – not just their banks – and if they match their own values. I think that is what has lead to the socially responsible banking model being considered more and more in recent times. Can you explain a little about how organisations come about making Unity their bank of choice? Most of Unity’s business comes from customers that are satisfied with us, people that are happy to recommend us and who are happy to be ambassadors for the bank. When an organisation gets in touch, Gordon
Allen, our Scottish-based relationship manager, or one of his colleagues will go out to see them and spend time getting to understand the organisation and what they need, from a banking perspective, to enable them to carry on achieving their social outcomes. We do not go out and sell products to people; we go out and find out what they want and put together a solution that works for them. This is a clear point of difference over the high street banks, who are simply too large to be able to have those sort of conversations. How do those relationships evolve over time? Once we are engaged in a relationship with an organisation, it is managed very closely. The people that handle our relationships are based in our Birmingham head office. It’s not a “call centre” by any means; when our customers call, their call comes straight through to one of the team, and over time, they’re able to build up a rapport with our customer base – something unthinkable with the other banks! The same applies to our relationship managers; all of our larger customers
SI magazine December 2012
For the 28years Unity has been around, it has been doing it right. Adam Ruffinato Head of Social Economy at Unity Trust Bank
they have a name, an email address, a mobile phone number of their local relationship manager. And because we only operate within the third sector, the customer service staff who deal with our customers really understand the sectors in which our customers operate. By definition they become specialists and they understand what a social enterprise or a co-operative is, they understand the difference between a Top 100 charity and a tiny community centre project. That is something which is lost in the general commercial banking spectrum; there are no specialists anymore, just generalists. To capture it in a phrase, it really is traditional relationship-centred banking that we are doing at Unity. From your experience in working with different organisations over the years, what makes an investable project? There is a misconception that lending money is overly complicated but it isn’t; in most cases it is fairly straight forward and involves practical common sense. If you have an organisation with a working business
model, individuals with the right level of experience (factoring in the loan amount, purpose, customer input and potentially suitable security) there is not a great deal else to it than that. We understand that the aims of the organisations we are engaged with are different to those of the commercial world and we can take a balanced view where a commercial bank wouldn’t be able to. If you were to sum up what captures the distinctive nature of Unity Trust Bank from the others that are available to the third sector, what would that be? The bank was set up in 1984 as a joint venture to provide social benefits, so it considers itself to be a social enterprise wholly owned by organisations that are owned by and therefore for the benefit of their members. We are not owned by individual investors and pension funds that are vying for and demanding a return and that is what enables us to consider our customers first instead of our shareholders. This enables us to take a broader view, and one where the value of social returns as well as financial returns can be taken into account with our borrowers. At the beginning of our conversation Adam you mentioned how you had become disillusioned with the
commercial banking sector. On a personal level, what is distinctive about working at Unity? When people come to Unity, like any other applicant to a banking vacancy, they come with the experience and technical skills needed to be a banker. The difference is with people applying to work at Unity is they have an approach and an affinity with our customers about wanting the third sector and the social economy to succeed. I don’t think you can work for an organisation like Unity and not share its values and the values of its customers. When people are engaged with their customers, with their employer and you all share at least some common values, it makes a very good experience for all. I’m making it sound like the bank of Carlsberg but to a certain degree it is! It is very nice to be in a position where you are happy to shout from the rooftop that you’re a banker! I am proud to be a banker and to do what I do for a living because of the organisation I work for and the sector they operate in. For the 28years Unity has been around, it has been doing it right. We have a proven model of how retail banking can work in a positive way without doing anything under hand, without any casino banking going on in the background, and by sticking to doing what we do best. 25
December 2012 SI magazine
Leading By Example
From deeds to needs Chris McNaught, Director of Children and Families Services at CrossReach, talks about his work with Scotland’s young people over the last 40 years.
wanted to fly around the world and sort computers – that is what a young Chris McNaught dreamed of doing in 1971. He applied to do Electrical Engineering at Heriot-Watt University, which he completed, but not before he decided on a completely new direction. ‘At the same time I was applying to HeriotWatt, I became a Community Service Volunteer. They placed me at the People Palace, a night shelter in Cowgate, Edinburgh. During all my university holidays, I would volunteer at the People Palace. It is there I knew I wanted to work with vulnerable young people.’ It was Chris’s mother who got him an application as a Residential Child Care Worker in Geilsland School
and on 9th September 1974 he started that job. With the opportunity to progress through the ranks at Geilsland, he became Deputy Head and in January 2000 he was appointed Head of Ballikinrain, a residential school in Stirling. From there he was promoted to Director of Children and Family Services at CrossReach in April 2007, where he will end 40years of passionately advocating and working for young people in care. Chris has been in the unique position of seeing major legislative and attitudinal changes occur in the sector. ‘In the early 70s, residential schools were still required to have Ministerial approval and operated under the terminology of
caring for deprived and depraved children. When the Local Authorities Regionalisation Plans were announced, regional authorities took over control and running of the schools.’ ‘During this time,’ says Chris, ‘there was also a movement away in principle from kids beings sent to residential schools because of their deeds, to being accommodated in care because of their needs. You could see that change of mentality being spearheaded by documents like the Kilbrandon Report; it was a bold and remarkable report, which encouraged society to look upon children as children. That was a massive change from when I first started out.’
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Leading By Example There’s more work to be done to get that investment, but on many levels the social enterprise market is ready to hold its own with any other business. Chris McNaught Director of Children and Families Services at CrossReach
While being receptive to the changes in care provision occurring at national and local government, CrossReach were pursuing their own innovative aims of care for communities in Scotland. ‘When I started at Geilsland School, one of the four schools run by CrossReach at the time (formerly the Committee on Social Welfare), the Church of Scotland had just sold their Cornton Vale project to the government after they had successfully demonstrated a model of providing accommodation and employment training to vulnerable young male adults.’
move away from the 80s mentality of residential school. At that time, they were exclusive operations in the country away from everywhere and often when the child returned after a number of years, situations had not changed. The Include Me In services were developed 12 years ago as a pretty inspirational way forward to continue providing focused care with children, but acknowledging that the child is part of a family and a community which also needs help and support. Looking at the entire family unit when working with a young person has been a truly innovative model.’
‘During my time as Director of Children and Family Services, we have been able to continue CrossReach’s 168 year legacy of innovative approaches to care in the community. We established the Mallard in Springburn, Glasgow in early 2000s to provide short breaks to children and young people with disabilities. Mallard has become a center of excellence; the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland Right Rev. Albert Bogle spoke of it as a “colony in heaven” in September 2012.’
‘Mallard and Ballikinrain Include Me In Services have been the products of a concept we have developed at CrossReach – CrossReach Local. As well as continuing to provide quality services at big projects like residential homes, CrossReach local is a community based outlet that reflects the needs of that community. In principle it would be acknowledging and identifying an unmeet need and finding funding streams that could support that.’
‘Ballikinrain’s Include Me In Services was an attempt by CrossReach to
Making all these projects happen at CrossReach are countless
members of staff. I ask Chris how the attitude and role of staff, not only at CrossReach but across Scotland, has evolved since he started in 1974. ‘Staff have worked hard to try acknowledge the changes and different challenges that are happening in the care sector. When I started in Geilsland, corporal punishment still existed as a method of dealing with the young people in care; that approach by staff has long since dissipated. The latest Children’s Bill to pass through Holyrood is requiring organisations to enact the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child; this is a positive step forward and I believe it is what is needed in Scotland because we are struggling to get the balance on rights and responsibilities.’ ‘If I look at Scotland in general, there have been a lot of positives in the area of childcare but also areas which have not developed as they should. We still struggle to keep children out of prisons in Scotland – we lock up
SI magazine December 2012
more young people in this country than any other country in Europe.’ ‘I would argue, personally, that we are more interested in saving the pension pot than providing futures for children. Residential care is very expensive but can be very effective; all that investment goes to waste if there is not a proper follow through. My investment in my own son went up significantly post aged 16, whereas investment in kids in care goes down significantly, it goes backwards after the turn 16years. Those in positions of authority are doing their best but some of the priorities are skewed; the latest legislation in 2011 makes greater nursery provision for parents to maintain employment – that is great, but is it? We know of the importance at every level of early relationships and firm bonds, so perhaps we should have followed the Scandinavian model of supporting parents to be at home and parent.’ What lessons has Chris taken away from his 40years at the heart of child
care provision in Scotland? ‘Effective decision making is one lesson that I believe is crucial,’ he says. ‘People are well intentioned about giving situations another shot but the last audit of residential care reinforced a message we at CrossReach have been promoting – residential care should be one of a series of options and not the last. Some of the children at Ballikinrain ended up there after five failed foster parents – you must be blind if you don’t see after two that it’s not going to work.’ ‘Another thing I have taken from the last number of years is the benefits of an integrated provision, with everyone contributing to the success of the young person. There is more money around now than there has ever been, but it’s in smaller chunks and there are more people chasing it. We need to start become better at spending money in an integrated form and with longer term plans.’ ‘We are attempting to address the issue of integrated care internally
at CrossReach with our Hub Development, offering a whole menu of skills that CrossReach has, so a user of the service does not have to go from one door to the next. With the Hub project we are supporting life’s journey in a consistent and value based way, which means people can expect to receive the same service delivery in whatever aspect of CrossReach we touch in their lives’ And Chris’ biggest achievement? ‘When I look back, there are three things that I have been proud to have been involved in at CrossReach: breaking the traditional thinking around residential schools, that they were castles in the sky; demonstrating that the only effective intervention is intervention that includes the family and the community; bringing together the different bases within CrossReach to deliver an integrated care approach. But perhaps, most of all, it was surviving. That was my biggest achievement!’ 29
Leading By Example
Full Circle at Quarriers Declan Murphy gets taken around Quarriers’ Stopover Project in Glasgow and finds out how former service users are now helping to support their peers.
Mandy Burns, a Children and Young Persons Inclusion Officer, and Michelle Hughes, a Children and Young Persons Inclusion Volunteer, guides me on a tour around the impressive work Quarriers are trying to achieve through Stopover and the Inclusion initiative.
residents eat together and socialise. Environment is crucial to the work carried out by the Inclusion and Stopover staff, as Mandy explains: ‘When we begin evaluating a young person, we try to make them as comfortable as possible. Coming into a lounge area like this, immediately they begin to relax; they don’t feel that they are being interviewed or judged by someone on the other side of the table. We always try to listen to the individual needs of the young person; there isn’t a one size fits all model and it is through small subtleties like the care environment that we can create a tailored support plan which maximises the positive impact we have on a young person’s life.’
We start in the large open plan lounge and dining room, an area where all the
Mandy has worked at Quarriers for 10 years but started as an Inclusion
n an unassuming building along Pollockshaws Road in Glasgow’s Southside, stands Quarries’ Stopover project. Inside, it is all but unassuming; a purpose built bedsit, it provides state of the art facilities, accommodation, care and support for 14 young people from the ages of 16-25 who have found themselves homeless and in a period of difficulty.
Officer working from an office in the Stopover project just over a year ago. ‘I am born and bred in Glasgow, so I know the difficulties young people are facing out there. The people we meet and the people we accommodate are here for a number of reasons, but first and foremost they are people. With Inclusion, it is the young people who are calling all the shots, writing the agendas and putting forward what is important to them. It is only fair that we support the young people in our roles to realise their potential and to help them campaign and question what is going on in the world. Young people get a hard time – they are either all hoodies or yobs – we need to offer a bit of protection from that and show the public there are amazing young people out there.’
SI magazine December 2012
The people we meet and the people we accommodate are here for a number of reasons, but first and foremost they are people.
Left: Mandy Burns (right) Quarriers Children and Young Persons Inclusion worker and Michelle Hughes (left) Quarriers Children and Young Persons Inclusion Volunteer at the Stopover project. The centre has a fully fitted computing suite which the young people can use to build up their IT skills while staying at the centre.
The next part of Stopover Mandy and Michelle take me to is a large conference room, an area where Inclusion hold their monthly Voice In Projects (VIP) meetings. This is an example of how young people have an opportunity to represent their views and take ownership over the services they use. ‘This room is also used to hold our awards ceremony for young people who have been involved a nine-week work placement in Holland,’ speaks Mandy. Only a few months previously Michelle received her award for successfully completing the Exchange Project to Holland. ‘Michelle she has been that person who uses our services and who wears the tee-shirt for all the good, bad and the indifferent that young people go through. It
is fantastic that she has come full circle in her life and is now at a point where we can invest time, effort and quality training to help her become a professional in the field of care,’ Mandy tells me. Michelle tells me a little more about her journey: ‘At 17 I was moved into supported accommodation and it was from there that I was introduced to the VIP initiative and Exchange Project in Holland. It was not the best of work we were doing but it got me away from all the barriers and negativity at home. I was not only able to achieve my Europass Mobility, Health and Safety and Food Hygiene certificates, but I took away a confidence and sense of structure which made me feel that I was capable of achieving something in life.’
Nothing is more satisfying than watching a young person you have helped though the troubles in their life make the transition to helping others.
‘When I came back I started to volunteer with Stopover; it has not just been for my needs but for people who were in my position, people who I can now pass on what I have learnt over the last 7 years.’ Michelle admits that she was nervous in the beginning of her volunteering role, ‘I thought I might be judged on my past or that I wouldn’t be taken seriously but Mandy and the others have all seen me for me and what I can bring to the center.’ Michelle is an example of what Quarriers are keen to continue across all their services. ‘We appreciate somebody like Michelle and the valuable experiences, insight and peer-to-peer support she can provide,’ informs Mandy. ‘We are encouraging all our former service users to come onboard in a volunteering capacity, even if that just means coming into the office once a week or helping out at a sporting activity; everybody can contribute something. Nothing is more satisfying than watching a young person you have helped though the troubles in their life make the transition to helping others. It means we are doing something right at Stopover and Inclusion.’ 31
Leading By Example
Not just a large family Declan Murphy talks to Robert Tamburrini, the man responsible for growing and developing one of the largest social landlords in the UK.
usiness acuity, social intelligence and the capacity to instigate changes and win over hearts and minds – these were just some of the attributes the panel at the Scottish Social Enterprise Awards credited with Robert Tamburrini’s leadership as Chief Executive of North Glasgow Homes. Responsible for growing Springburn and Possilpark Housing Associations
into North Glasgow HA and then NG Homes, under Robert’s leadership NG Homes saw its housing stock jump from 998 units in 1990 to 5,800 units and 1,400 factored properties and 1000 new builds in 2011. Robert starts off by telling me an anecdote of how NG Homes got to where it is today. ‘At one time years
ago, the Association was about 1400 units and was considering the prospect of growing. There were people who were open minded but there were also people who thought we were a nice size and don’t want to become another district council. I could get their point but I asked them “what is the difference between a small family and a large family?” Really the difference is not the size
SI magazine December 2012
but what you put into that family, how that family operates as a unit, how individuals get on with each other and if they see themselves as a benefit. That example has stood us in good stead, a way of looking at development and growth which will be as relevant in 40 years’ time as it is now.’ From talking to Robert, this ethos seems to have shaped how NG Homes operates at every level. Over the last decade, there was a recognition that, ‘despite providing brand new houses for people that had lived in poor housing conditions, they were still unemployed, their children still had nowhere to play and you could see in their applications that a lot had medical conditions.’ It was this recognition that caused a shift in what NG Homes was putting into their ‘family unit’ in North Glasgow. ‘It was about saying there is a lot more happening in people’s lives that just giving them a brand new house,’ Robert informs me. ‘If you and I were looking at a house to build, you would look at location, the schools, the nursery homes, public services available – but for unemployed people, whose options are limited. What we want to do in this area and what we have been doing, is working with organisations like schools to help increase their reputation so even people from outside the area are attracted to come into North Glasgow.’
The receptionist, the cleaner, the housing officer – they all make a contribution to the organisations success.
It was about saying there is a lot more happening in people’s lives that just giving them a band new house. Robert Tamburrini Chief Executive of NG Homes
To achieve the social outcomes for people in North Glasgow, ng2, a social enterprise company and subsidiary of NG Homes, was established in 2010. One of ng2’s first regeneration activities was close cleaning and bulk/back court services but that significantly expanded into other service provision areas. Not only representing a cost effective and better way of delivering services to NG Homes tenants, it has been able to recruit local people and develop their skills through a range of industry specific training. ‘Just at this moment, we are going into quite an exciting and innovative partnership with Land Engineering, where they will take our labour and over a two to three year period will train them up fully for planning and managing the work, before we will take that responsibility on.’ Robert might have been awarded Social Enterprise Leader of the Year but that is not the whole story which explains the success of NG Homes, a point Robert is very keen to stress: ‘the key thing was recognising that you can do much more working together than you can do as an individual. There is no point being a leader if you haven’t got people following you. Since day one it has been one team and we have seen the benefits from that in how we operate as an organisation.’
‘What has been important to me is bringing people along and showing them not only the benefits to the customer but the benefits to them. Generally as a society we are poor at saying what we do well. In NG Homes, the receptionist, the cleaner, the housing officer – they all make a contribution to the organisation’s success, so they buy into the idea of providing a first class housing service and a first class regeneration service for the people that live in the area.’ ‘When all is said and done, it comes down to a simple principle of treating people how you would want to be treated; when you get the service right then all the other things follow. In a sense, it is as much about how you do things as it is what you do. When we took over 3000 units and 70 staff members from Glasgow City Council, the real test was putting plans in place to provide services to those people and making sure the staff were treated fairly and nurtured as individuals and as part of a team. To return to the Family analogy, whether it is our customers or our staff, I believe we have succeeded in achieving excellence in what we put in, how we operate as a unit, how individuals get on with each other and how they see themselves as a benefit.’
Balancing the Books
Taking a commercial approach to third sector investment Gillian Donald and Gareth Magee look at the three core habits that commercial investors should apply when making investment decisions. Charities face an ever-increasing range of investment opportunities and need to be shrewd investors. This always involves an element of commerciality. There are valuable tips that charities can pick up from the way commercial investors and business angels approach investment decisions.
Gillian Donald and Gareth Magee are Partners at Scott Moncrieff, one of Scotland’s leading independent professional services firms.
However, this approach doesn’t always come easy for charitable organisations. Yes, charities invest for financial return, but that the investment meets the charitable aims and ethics of the organisation concerned is equally important. Charities with investment assets are finding returns have dropped but there is also increased volatility associated with the returns available. Add to this the charity trustees’ legal duty to be relatively cautious, and you get a strong disincentive to tread the path of innovation and creativity in the current climate. This doesn’t have to be the case. While charities definitely need to avoid overtly risky activities, there are still investment opportunities that can help to achieve business objectives. If investment decisions are approached with thoroughness, it’s still possible to make money work hard. Ask any private investor or business angel what the most important consideration is when considering an investment and the answer is usually the same – management. The management team is the most critical factor in any investment decision – a weak proposition with a strong team can be made to work; a strong proposition with a weak team will always fail.
Why should charities be any different in their approach? There are three core habits that commercial investors apply when making investment decisions: Management performance: Watching out for managers trying to be all things to all men. In a well-run investment the management team will understand the bases that need to be covered, and have identified the individuals with the appropriate skills to find gaps and take remedial action. Commercial investors won’t hesitate to walk away from a controlling tinkerer or boffin. Looking for the attributes of the ideal management team is the second task. In an ideal management team, commercial investors look for passion, ownership of the project and chemistry. Finally, the strength of commitment says a lot about a management team. This goes so far as to include the teams exposure to what is sometimes termed “a bit of bleeding”. In other words, commercial investors are always on the lookout for a management team that is taking some personal financial risk alongside them. Failure needs to hurt to provide a strong disincentive. There’s no reason that charities shouldn’t be applying this same degree of rigour in assessing management teams prior to investment decisions. Charities are in an ideal position of being able to take the best investment and funding innovations from the commercial sector – this doesn’t need to mean losing sight of the charitable aims of the organisation, it’s just good practice.
SI magazine December 2012
It’s all about the people Malcolm Rust on why every little bit of attention to detail around the management skills of an organisation will help to lessen the impact of a depressed economy.
Malcolm Rust, Partner, Shepherd and Wedderburn Solicitors
No matter how high profile an organisation might be, nor the place it occupies in the minds of its supporters and key shareholders, its effectiveness and therefore its success are directly down to how good its management is in carrying out its functions. As legal advisers in the third sector, I witness first-hand the skillset and knowledge on many management boards and it is a mixed picture. “Commercialisation” is often seen as an anathema when looking at the third sector, but the truth of the matter is that to be successful these days requires a business-like approach to management which even five years ago was less prevalent. A mix of skills on any board is vital and combining financial, practical and regulatory experience is a very powerful base to work from. As advisers, we are often called upon to present briefings on regulatory functions, legal developments and duties badged under the heading “Trustee Training”. The training is not a tick-box exercise – it is designed to produce an outturn that is based centrally around effectiveness and knowledge to do the job. The workshop format covers a number of key areas – regulatory, legal and financial – as well as focussing on the warning lights, such as risk assessment, conflicts of interest policies and duties of directors. The training is not designed to be a one-stop shop as it cannot replace in some key areas the need for every board to take proper professional advice from time to time. What the training does seek to achieve however is a degree of knowledge and understanding of the main operating issues that every board should have to be effective. Changes in board composition, rather than being seen as a negative, should be embraced for the shot in the arm they can bring to what might otherwise be a fairly static management structure. The same board often means the same results and the ability to refresh any board is therefore vital to inject new skills and new ideas.
Changes in board composition, rather than being seen as a negative, should be embraced for the shot in the arm they can bring to what might otherwise be a fairly static management structure
It is also important that every management structure engages the tasks as they fall at the most appropriate level, and as such training on effective delegation is a key area to address. Clarity of reporting structures and accountability are also important planks to effective delegation and, in my experience, it is often where management are too remote that problems occur. One organisation I recently dealt with operated a two-tier management structure. All would have been well had the executive team been active in communicating what it expected of the management team. As it was, strategic decision-making was shifted on to the individuals whose job it was to implement the decisions of the executive. In that scenario, the solution was to re-engage the executive with its management and involved the resignations of two members of the executive committee who recognised that they did not have the time to devote to the organisation’s needs. The organisation has since internally promoted two of its management to executive positions and there has been a re-focussing on objectives and responsibilities. This was a very successful outcome and had the added benefit of rewarding two key members of staff in the re-organisation by promoting them to positions which they were already effectively undertaking in their previous roles. 35
December 2012 SI magazine
SI magazine December 2012
Alan Kay of why the social enterprise movement has to assert its difference from mainstream business and create a collective understanding around its core purpose, its distinct values and its impact on people the environment and the culture or society.
he current economic crisis in Europe looks like it’s here to stay – money is being lent on condition that governments spend less, services are being cut, wages held at a constant rate, inflation is rising, and generally our standard of living in Europe is under attack. The conventional solution to the crisis amongst politicians is to emphasise the need to grow the economy at the expense of all other societal factors. Certainly economic growth may be important but is it sustainable in the longer term? I would argue that we, as a society, have to look for alternatives – alternative ways of doing business – alternative ways of exchanging goods and services for the benefit of the whole of society and not merely for the benefit of the few. Many people across Europe are looking to social enterprises to provide services and create change for the benefit of the wider society. There are many definitions of social enterprise in the public domain – some are more useful than others (the recently adopted European Union definition is particularly useful…). However, it would seem to me that there are three factors that determine a social enterprise – its core purpose; its values; and its impacts. Firstly, let’s look at the core purpose of social enterprise. Social enterprises are driven, and often created, when an individual or group can see an opportunity to create social or community benefit; or as a result of conflict where a service is being withdrawn or a community
is under threat; or where there is a failure in the market economy and the goods or services are not going to be provided by the private sector. Social enterprises want to create social value for society – this is their core business. The drive is not to maximise financial profit but to maximise social profit. Traditional businesses may also have some social objectives and give money to charity and so on but this is really part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and not their core business. Secondly, we can turn to values. Social enterprises often have explicit values – things that they will and will not do. The fundamental values of social enterprise are around working for the common good, fairness, concern for the most vulnerable, equality of opportunities, social justice and so on. The priority given to shared values can distinguish a social enterprise from other enterprises. Thirdly and perhaps most importantly, is the impact social enterprises have in achieving their core, social purpose. I would suggest a shift from the traditional ‘triple bottom line’ impacts which state that social enterprises have an affect on people (social), the planet (environment) and the economy – and replace ‘economy’ with culture or societal norms.
There are many definitions of social enterprise in the public domain. However, it would seem to me that there are three factors that determine a social enterprise – its core purpose; its values; and its impacts.
Social enterprises do operate using economic activity but this can be seen as a means to an end and not an end in itself. Therefore, I would suggest that social enterprises use economic activity to create social change and they exist to benefit people (social impact), the planet (environmental sustainability) and society at large (cultural impacts). Making the economy one of the three major impacts of social enterprise has, in the past, led to confusion about the role of social enterprise which leads people to think social enterprises are merely a type of business model and not an alternative to the traditional business model.
About the Author Alan Kay is an Associate Lecturer at Glasgow Caledonian University, Associate Tutor with the Social Enterprise Academy and Visiting Fellow of the Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health. He is also the Director of the CBS Network and the Social Audit Network.
December 2012 SI magazine
EVENTS Calendar Welcome to our events calendar. This section of SI magazine is designed to give our readers an opportunity to find out what events are coming up over the coming months, and while this list is by no means exhaustive in such an active sector we hope that you find something here that you can benefit from. December 2012 12th – Enter the Twittersphere Glasgow At this session Gregor Urquhart of Young Scot will talk you through the basics of Twitter – explaining what it is, how it works and what it can do for you and your organisation. To book a seat at this event, please visit http://www.acosvo.org.uk/events-2/ details/193-Enter%20the%20 Twittersphere%20Glasgow.html 13th – The Third Sector Forum Christmas Reception with John Swinney MSP Featuring a Q&A session with the Cabinet Secretary, John Swinney MSP, this Christmas reception will be an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of 2012 and look forward to 2013. To book a place please visit http://www.acosvo. org.uk/events-2/general-events/ details/199-the-third-sector-forumchristmas-reception-with-john-swinneymsp.html.
January 2013 29th – Cross-Party Group on Social Enterprise The topic for the next CPG will be “The impacts of welfare reform in Scotland.” The next meeting will take place between 13:15 – 14:45 (arrive at 13:00 to get through security and be taken to the room) in Committee Room 1, The Scottish Parliament. Book your free places on Social Enterprise Scotland’s website – http://www.socialenterprisescotland. org.uk/news/events/1050.
March 2013 21st – Social Enterprise Exchange Held at the SECC in Glasgow, please visit the Social Enterprise Exchange website for prices and to book a place. Architecture and Design Scotland’s Green Jobs Conference. Visit www.spectrum-events.co.uk for further details as they become available.
April 2013 SI magazine’s Social Investment Conference, following on from March 2012 SIB conference this event will focus on developments in the social investment sector, new opportunities and other key issues in the sector raised by our partners and contributors. Visit www.spectrum-events.co.uk for further details as they become available.
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SI magazine explores social investment, third sector funding and the future of the sector.