15 weeks, the question that everyone keeps asking at the moment?

Lots of meetings this week, with new groups and new plans but the latest club committee meeting saw dots on i’s and crosses on t’s – I have definitely chosen a great team and I am thankful they have agreed to run a club with me, certainly not something any of us were planning at the beginning of the year I am sure.

So the most asked questioned in the last 2 weeks is why did I choose social enterprise, community interest club over charity?

That’s easy.

Having been involved in the work of more than one charity and spending months working towards launching another, what I am aware of is how goals can be changed and how this can change how the money is used, all legally and no issues, but what was the original goal and did the donations that resulted come knowing that things might change? Would the same donation be made if the new goal had been clear?

I have been told often that I think in black and white and that I do not see grey (hilarious considering who has thrown that at me most and the grey I displayed there, but that’s a story for another day).

In order to be accepted as a Community Interest Company I had to complete paperwork.

My aim is to run grassroots projects for archery and bring sports to groups and individuals who do not know how to access it. Easy to explain and show evidence of how this has changed lives and helps individuals and communities – I have been doing it for 6 years. This might be one off sessions, a number of sessions or creating a group that is entirely self sustaining and supporting them from planning, setting up and ongoing mentoring. Where appropriate helping them source and obtain funding.

This will be done in a not for profit manner, with very little money going through the business. As with the 6 grants that I had helped clubs and groups obtain prior to setting up Integr8archery those monies go straight to the group who we applied on behalf of.

My costs? Will always be very minimal and again have been set out clearly to ensure anything that does come in is spent on projects. My two main expenses are petrol and storage costs, the kit has to live somewhere and I am grateful that Lok n Store gave me a deal to help keep the cost as low as I could.
Yes you can make a donation and this will help cover costs and also anything surplus will be spent on projects and will be clearly shown in the accounts verified by my amazing auditor at the end of each business year.

So, what does all of that mean? I cannot change the way the money is spent, now it’s all signed off. If I decided I wanted to I cannot close the business down and re-start with the money, once agreed and signed off by the government it is set in stone. I had to nominate a registered charity who would receive monies in the account if I close it, I chose Youth Sports Trust having worked with them during my time as an Archery GB ambassador.

So no matter what the future brings, who I might collaborate with, anyone who gives money to help fund projects is assured I will only be spending it in the manner set out.

For clarification, when talking about Integr8archery there is just me, no board or committee or staff, just me. Why do I say we? because people do work with me, each group or person who comes to me, what I provide takes more than me – there is the we. I get the most appropriate people for whatever I am helping achieve, often I am there to, but the business is me. Anyone who does paid work for my customers is paid directly by the customer. I am essentially a volunteer project manager, pulling my service suppliers and customers together and therefore dealing with most of the communication and planning.

How does this vary from the club? My club is a hybrid, open and school, and I have a committee of which I am one of 5 committee members, the committee are aware that if I am doing anything with the CIC that will impact or reflect on the club that I discuss things business related with them. The constitution has been very carefully written to reflect how we want to protect the club.

So, hopefully that has answered the majority of the questions around how we (I) have set things up. If not, feel free to ask me.