NPC helped Exeter Community Initiatives (ECI) to develop an effective strategy for its work incubating sustainable community projects.
Exeter Community Initiatives
Exeter Community Initiatives (ECI) is an unusual charity. Like many community organisations ECI aims to improve quality of life for local people, working to make Exeter more economically sound and socially vibrant. But unlike most community groups, ECI develops new projects to meet local needs with the aim that they become independent, so the end result of its work is a host of standalone community projects.
In 2011, ECI asked NPC to help it plan its strategy for the next three years.
We carried out a detailed analysis of the organisation’s work, assessing its activities, results, leadership, people and resources, finances and ambition. We conducted in-depth interviews with the charity’s staff and trustees and reviewed financial and strategic documents.
NPC’s analysis highlighted ECI’s strengths and weaknesses, and suggested areas for improvement. It revealed that ECI is excellent at developing activities needed by the community, and its model of helping projects to become independent shows its ambition. We made several recommendations for how the charity could improve, such as finding ways to track the impact of former projects.
ECI plans to draw on our analysis when deciding its future strategy. Matt Bell, acting director at ECI, told us: ‘The charity analysis carried out by NPC is an excellent piece of work that will really support our work. The end result is a very clear report that highlights what we are doing well and where we need to improve. This will be both helpful to our internal improvement processes and current and future funders.’