Community organisations: A guide to effectiveness

Community organisations will be key players in any realisation of the government’s Big Society agenda. A third of community organisations in England work in deprived areas, and they are particularly good at reaching isolated or disadvantaged people who might not typically seek help from a charity. They come in all shapes and sizes, from local village halls to large, modern urban centres. But they all share a common goal: to help local people and develop their community.

But, like many charities, community organisations are facing funding cuts. They need to be able to demonstrate the value of their work, and the difference they make to their community.

Community organisations: A guide to effectiveness is a practical guide to help community organisations ensure they are as effective as possible. It covers six areas—activities, results, leadership, people and resources, finances and ambition—and is based on our methodology for charity analysis, published in 2010’s Little blue book.

 Kiveton Park and Wales Community Development Trust came up with the idea of teaching cash-strapped families about raising money through selling things on e-bay. The best community organisations are those that take a proactive approach to finding out what local people need so they can really tailor their services.

Angela Kail, report author