A new third sector sustainability toolkit gives advice on how to ensure your charity continue to exist well into the future
A free resource to help third sector organisations stay afloat in the face of funding and other challenges has been launched.
Called A Lasting Difference, the easy to use resource contains helpful definitions, self-assessment guidance and action plan templates. Uniquely, it also provides and assesses possible exit strategies for services to consider.
It’s important to understand we’re not just talking about funding. Being sustainable takes more than money. It’s about looking inwards, then looking out to see how we fit into the world around us
The third sector sustainability toolkit was created by Wren and Greyhound, a specialist third sector consultancy, and launched at a sell-out workshop at The Gathering in February.
"The response has been overwhelming," says Graeme Reekie, Wren and Greyhound’s director.
"We’ve been working towards this point for three years, with over 250 organisations, so we knew there was a need for simple definitions and tools. Everyone is talking about sustainability, but nobody really knows what it means. We’re hoping to change that!"
Graeme’s belief that this was an idea whose time has come was confirmed when over 120 people booked onto the Gathering workshop.
"People were amazingly responsive to the tools and ideas we are sharing. Third sector organisations, funders included, are desperate to understand and take action on sustainability. But it’s important to understand we’re not just talking about funding. Being sustainable takes more than money. It’s about looking inwards, then looking out to see how we fit into the world around us."
The toolkit defines sustainability as an organisation or service’s capacity to make a lasting difference and is structured around four capabilities: involvement, income generation, impact measurement and improvement. Each of these is broken down into straightforward indicators, allowing organisations to get to grips with a complex topic in an accessible way.
A series of workshops has also been organised in Perth, Edinburgh and Glasgow during May and June.