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Hopeful Towns: BID-BUILDER


Below are some of the key terms, when it comes to defining organisations and determining their eligibility.


Community groups

These are user-led clubs, formed by members of the community in response to a particular issue. Issues are wide ranging and can be linked to hobbies and leisure (such as a group forming to provide a local needlework club), or to wider concerns (such as a group forming in response to their concerns about climate change). Community groups are generally run entirely by volunteers, without a formal constitution or management structure. As their group or services develop, they may decide to formalise their work in order to access more funding and register as a ‘voluntary organisation’. A community organisation or group differs from a voluntary organisation in that the control lies in the hands of the beneficiaries as individual users, members or residents.

Voluntary organisations

These are organisations with a constitution, a management structure, employees and formal structures for planning their services. Voluntary organisations can be of any size: highly local, cross-borough or regional, or local hubs of a national charity such as Age Concern (which offer varying services under a national framework). Voluntary organisations may be similar to community groups in that they might be staffed largely by volunteers, provide direct services, and have strong local roots. Certain types of voluntary organisations may sit behind the ‘front line’ and not offer their main services to the public, instead working as grant-giving agencies and supporting other groups.


This describes any organisation registered with the Charity Commission. To register you have to pass certain standards of transparency and good management. These require considerable time and effort, meaning that many community groups choose not to apply for registered status. Registering as a charity will make an organisation eligible to apply to more funding streams and opportunities.   
The public or statutory sector organisations

Public services which are provided by the State, in all parts of the UK, are called statutory agencies. These include local authorities (councils), but also police, fire, education, social and health services. Any of these authorities may choose to provide some discretionary services according to local need, but basic services must be offered everywhere.


Social Enterprises

These are businesses set up to tackle a social or environmental need. Their main aim is to generate profit to further their social and environmental goals, and so their profits are reinvested to sustain and further their mission for positive change rather than increasing shareholder’s profits.

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