Our Financial Capabilities Pilots
The financial capabilities programme supports community businesses in managing their organisation’s finances, with the hope of making them more resilient and sustainable in the long term. It addresses four areas:
- Financial management
- Moving from spreadsheets to cloud based accounting
- Accessing grant funding from national trusts and foundations
- Reviewing the business model
The programme is delivered through our partners Locality and the Women’s Organisation.
Locality’s Financial Capabilities programme
Do you struggle to monitor cash flow and produce forecasts and regular financial reports? Are your financial skills limited to one key person? Do you rely on Excel to manage finances? Do you lack the capacity and headspace to adopt cloud accounting? If you have answered yes to any of these questions our new Financial Capabilities programme could be for you!
Locality’s Financial Capabilities programme helps community organisations improve their accounting systems and enhance their financial management processes and financial understanding. The programme includes a package of training and support, and a small grant to help cover the costs of someone attending the training and/or paying for relevant software licences.
Delivered in partnership with leading cloud accountancy software providers Xero, this is a pilot programme exclusively for Locality members.
The training will leave participants more confident and knowledgeable about managing their finances, enabling them to communicate the benefits of cloud-based accounting to the rest of their team and board members. Programme attendees will also be able to more meaningfully engage with their accountancy software provider (if theyhave one) and their accountant /financial adviser.
Participants will be required to attend 4 half-day webinars from June-July, and an online focus group discussion with the other pilot project participants in the early Autumn. Dates are to be confirmed.
How to apply
The programme will recruit around 12 Locality members, who meet the following criteria:
- Currently using Excel spreadsheets, or paper-based systems, or old accounting systems
- have moved to a cloud-based system (e.g. Xero, Quickbooks On-line, Sage Accounting etc), but are struggling to fully implement and benefit from the system
- have a fully functioning cloud accounting system but are needing to improve financial management and reporting, and board financial understanding and decision making
- are organisations that are led by people from communities that experience racial inequality; and/or are led by or engage regularly with younger people (aged 18-40 yrs); and/or are from areas of high economic deprivation (IMD 1-3).
Liverpool Financial Capability Improvement Academy
Delivered by the Women’s Organisation, the Financial Capabilities Improvement Academy engages and enables community business leaders, board members and key staff in Liverpool to build their financial capabilities to become stronger and more resilient.
Community-minded businesses in Liverpool City Region can access seven days of business mentoring and support and a financial contribution of up to £1,000 as part of our programme. Sixteen community businesses will be supported over several months to build their financial capabilities, and the academy will use a combination of group workshops, peer mentoring and one-to-one peer advice to achieve this. It is expected that 3 people of varying seniority will attend the academy, to ensure that financial knowledge across organisations is not just limited to one person, a common occurrence in smaller community-based organisations.
Up to three people from each organisation can join the programme and benefit from a series of specially curated workshops, peer mentoring and one-to-one support from a dedicated business adviser. The programme has been designed to help participating businesses identify funders and revenue streams, focus on the needs of their communities post-Covid, and strengthen the opportunities for future collaborative working across their respective sectors.
Please see the below for further information or contact the Women’s Organisation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Locality’s is running a pilot working with online accounting software Xero to help make their product better suited to the community business sector. This pilot is a natural follow on from their 2019 pilot, which looked to understand the potential benefits for community businesses of moving to cloud-based accounting.
The Women’s Organisation is delivering a financial capabilities improvement academy within Liverpool that will look to engage and enable community business leaders, board members and key staff to build their financial capabilities, become stronger and more resilient.