The Cabinet Office, supported by the Big Lottery Fund is launching an online tool aimed at helping voluntary, community, and social enterprise organisations improve their performance and sustainability.
The VCSE Strength Checker http://vcsestrengthchecker.org.uk/ will be available for free use by organisations across the UK from 1st February. While it is predominately aimed at small to medium sized organisations, it can also be used by larger VSCEs, and has been developed from an earlier version used for the Local Sustainability Fund, and administered by The Big Lottery Fund.
The tool will produce a personalised report highlighting an organisation’s key strengths, as well as areas to look at to help them become more effective. These will include sustainability, marketing, strategy and planning, track record, quality and impact.
The tool will also signpost organisations to other sources of support and funding including social investment, and information generated through the report can also be used to help organisations in planning funding bids to trusts and foundations.
Joe Ferns, Big Lottery Fund UK knowledge and portfolio director said:
“The UK VCSE sector is already seeing the benefits of online capability support like diagnostic tools. This is a fast-evolving area and we will be listening to organisations so that we can learn what works for them, and what doesn’t. This means we, other funders and the sector as a whole can constantly adapt to meet the needs of organisations today and in the future.”
Support has also been announced specifically for third sector organisations in Northern Ireland and Scotland. Chief Officers Third Sector (CO3) and Association of Chief Officers of Scottish Voluntary Organisations (ACOSVO) will work with 100 third sector organisations in Northern Ireland and Scotland on The Path to Impact project, which will use the online diagnostic Core Capacity Assessment Tool (CCAT) to help the groups better understand their strengths and areas for development.
It will also support providers and funders in delivering more targeted support, and will provide a comparative dataset on the capacity of the NI and Scotland VCSE sectors for the first time.