We can all agree that the past year has provided us with many unprecedented challenges. No matter who you are, where you are from or what you do, you will have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic in some way. As discussed in a previous blog, the Cii, like so many other community-focused organisations has had to adapt and adopt working practices as we continue to support our communities in need. Over the last year, my role as Head of Income Generation certainly wasn’t exempt from this, with new challenges and opportunities occurring weekly as the nation began to understand the impact of Covid-19. However, one thing that is the same as before the pandemic and will remain the same in the future, is the importance of income generation to an organisation such as ours. No matter what is going on externally we will always need to have a strong focus on obtaining income so that we can achieve our vision of a future where our communities flourish and prosper.
Over the past year we have been both grateful and fortunate as many of our funders have been able to continue to support us. However, like so many others, we have also seen the loss of key funding which brought about a set of unprecedented challenges. First and foremost, we wanted to be sure that we could continue to support our communities who, upon the introduction of a national lockdown, were unable to attend our community regeneration projects and were faced with new issues. As an organisation we doubled down and worked extra-hard to replace the loss in funding that we had experienced and obtained new funding to support our communities in ways that were responsive to their new needs. Having someone in place in an income focused role enabled us to adapt and respond to the situation, getting us to a relatively strong position today, all things considered.
That being said, the need for my role at The Cii is more than a role that just responds to the current need and situations. We are an ambitious organisation, one which is proud of what we have done to support our communities in the past, and one that is confident that we are best placed to support our communities long into the future. Through our community regeneration projects we have created a solid support model which has positively changed the futures of many, and through my role I need to ensure that we can continue to deliver these projects through gaining the income required to do so.
Our community regeneration projects are not limited to South Wales. We strive to support those in need across the whole of the UK and therefore, within my role I need to be forward thinking to ensure that growth opportunities are identified and ultimately secured. Although up until now, our community regeneration projects have been our bread and butter, we recognise that we are well placed to support our communities in many different ways. Through working alongside our CEO and the rest of our team, I will continue to gain an understanding of the differing needs of our communities and explore new and innovative ways in which we can support them, gaining the funding required to support these areas of growth.
My role is to oversee this income generation no matter what form the income comes in, be it through government contracts, social enterprises or fundraising, so that we can continue to grow and support more communities in need.
Income generation today and beyond
In March 2021 I was delighted to welcome Catrin to the Income Generation Team as our new Trusts and Foundation Officer, our second income generation focused role alongside myself. Over the past couple of years, we have recognised that our main and most reliable source of income has been through funding obtained through written applications. This function has seen us obtain funding from the likes of The National Lottery Community Fund, WCVA and various trusts and foundations which has enabled us to employ staff, purchase equipment, support participant travel costs, and ultimately run our community regeneration projects. We recognised that for us to be able to grow, we needed someone in place that will continue to secure funding through the various trust and foundations out there which wish to support organisations with charitable aims, such as ours.
Up until now, income gained from writing funding applications has been our primary (and a successful) source of income, but we acknowledge the need for us to diversify and explore other ways that we can generate income in the future. My role as Head of Income Generation at The Cii is to lead the exploration of this whilst also maintaining our high standards of income generation through written applications. As we progress and expand, more and more opportunities will become available to us, particularly in other areas of fundraising such as through working with corporate organisations or through online giving, and it’s vital that we are in a strong position to be able to grasp these opportunities as and when they appear, but we also need to plan ahead so that we can utilise all the resources available to us effectively.
Andy Cooper, Head of Income Generation
If you would like further information in relation to our community work or would like to know about the opportunities available, please get in touch through our Contact Page or email us at: email@example.com.