If you take this approach, your partnership will need to become a legal entity as a locally trusted organisation, have a funding agreement with Local Trust, and manage, monitor and report on the funding in line with your Big Local plan. As a locally trusted organisation, you will put funding agreements in place with other organisations, groups and individuals to deliver projects, activities and services. The organisation (also the partnership), might do some delivery in one of two roles: as a member of the partnership; and in a voluntary capacity, in which it might organise coach trips, lead community clean-up days, support art projects or review community-chest applications.
In addition to fulfilling its other requirements, the partnership will:
- be a legal entity and the act of being a locally trusted organisation fits within its objects – we ask for the organisation’s governing documents
- have the experience and the capability to administer and account for the funding
- have the capacity to support Big Local delivery in its role as a locally trusted organisation
- have a bank account in the name of the organisation, with at least two signatories who are not related to one another or reside at the same address.
Depending on the type of legal entity you become, your organisation will need to comply with Charity Commission rules and/or Companies House rules. You can find guidance online as follows:
You can find more guidance on the responsibilities for locally trusted organisations here.
- It offers protection to members of the partnership, as they are covered by the organisation’s policies, procedures and insurance.
- The partnership and organisation are a visible focal point for Big Local.The newly established organisation is the legacy of Big Local (if future funding is sought and received)
- Partnership members become trustees/directors (or similar) of the organisation.
- Partnerships can enter into agreements and leases, and own buildings.
- There are clear roles and responsibilities.
- The Big Local partnership has full control.
- There may be more opportunities to generate funding.
- Being involved in establishing the organisation increases people’s skills and confidence.
- It may lead to a focus on delivery at the expense of other aspects of Big Local.
- It could lead to Big Local partnerships/organisations avoiding risk, as their primary concern becomes the organisation and not the wider Big Local programme outcomes.
- Power might become concentrated in the hands of a few people.
- People might not want to become a trustee/director of an organisation and may be less likely to get involved as a member of the Big Local partnership.
- It could stifle creativity, because the partnership as an organisation cannot respond to changing needs without changing the organisation.
- It may not be sustainable once the Big Local money has been spent.
- Partnership members might find it too time-consuming, or feel the responsibility is too great.
- Big Local takes longer to deliver, as a new organisation first needs to be set up.
- The costs of setting up the organisation and insurance, auditors and other services come out of the £1m, instead of that funding being used on other things (though there is a contribution of 5% towards grant and partnership administration).
Things to consider if your partnership takes this approach:
- Do you have the right mix of skills around the table? How do you ensure that?
- What specialist support and advice will you need?
- How do you involve other people in Big Local?
- How do you ensure that you have the right procedures and processes in place? This includes financial processes, reporting to Local Trust, complaints procedure, staffing.
- Is there any distinction between the partnership and the locally trusted organisation?
- How can people within the Big Local area have oversight of the organisation and the partnership?