Each Big Local partnership needs to work with its locally trusted organisation(s) to deliver Big Local, in line with the Big Local grant terms and conditions signed by your locally trusted organisation(s). This might mean that the partnership uses the delivery mechanisms already in place with the locally trusted organisation(s), rather than developing new ones or adapting existing ones.
Just as most Big Local partnerships work in various ways with their locally trusted organisation(s) to suit their area, priorities and plan, so you can also use various approaches. Please make sure, though, that your locally trusted organisation(s) can use them too, within their own rules and governing documents.
The four different approaches identified by the CDF research are:
A core part of Big Local is about building relationships with a wide range of people; community groups, charities, organisations, businesses and public agencies. You might find that some of them share your aspirations for the area and might already be delivering a project, activity or service that benefits it.
Big Local funding could be used to enhance what they already provide. An enhanced project, activity or service might reach more or different people, run for longer or bring added value. In this scenario, Big Local money is additional to the existing funding for the project, activity or service. For example: where access to fair finance and high levels of debt is a real local concern, if the credit union or housing association is providing general advice and support, Big Local funding could be used to enhance that service with one-to-one debt-advice sessions, or workshops on good money management.
You will need to think about:
The advantages of this approach are that it:
In a co-creating approach your Big Local partnership might work with a range of people, organisations and groups to create or design a new project, activity or service, using your combined resources. In this model, people who might be described as ‘providers’ and ‘users’ work together, pooling different kinds of knowledge and skills. For example, if activities for young people or children are a priority within your plan, the Big Local partnership might decide to involve young people, community groups, service providers and others to create a new service or activity.
If you use a co-create approach, you could:
Identify and involve relevant stakeholders, including people who:
Build on existing resources:
Identify and agree what you are trying to achieve, and develop solutions. This might include generating and testing ideas.
The advantages of this approach:
The challenges of this approach:
Your Big Local plan will set out your priorities or themes, and these will guide how you use your funding over the next few years. But while you might have agreed the maximum funding for a particular priority or theme, you may not know exactly what and who you might fund. So you might want to use a bidding approach – to invite people and organisations to bid to you for funding to meet the priority or theme.
There are various ways you could decide what to fund: for example, by running an application or small-grant process, or through participatory budgeting or a ‘dragon’s den’ style event. You can find more information on participatory budgeting here: http://pbnetwork.org.uk and information on how to run a community grants scheme here.
If you are considering a bidding process, think about setting up:
The benefits of this approach:
Commissioning is a decision-making process that usually involves the procurement (buying) of projects, activities or services by competitive tendering for contracts (not grants). It is commonly used by local authorities. An ‘invitation to tender’ is when organisations are told they can compete for work by submitting a proposal and a budget. This is often used by Big Local areas that know roughly what they want, but not who they might use to deliver it.
Your published invitation to tender might include the following:
If you use this approach, think about:
The advantages of this approach are that:
Big Local partnerships should always talk in advance with their locally trusted organisation(s) about how they want to deliver the projects, activities, and services in their plan, to see what is possible and what their locally trusted organisation can suggest as ways forward.
During the process of selecting who you want to work with on a particular service or activity, there are likely to be those that you decline. Think about how and when you will tell people if they have been unsuccessful. It is good practice to thank organisations and individuals who did show an interest for their time, give them an opportunity to hear feedback, and encourage them to stay in touch or share another opportunity for them to get involved.
General guidance is available online to charities. Here are two resources you may find useful.
Sayer Vincent has a helpful document on the difference between grants, contracts and service-level agreements and on the locally trusted organisation’s responsibility to use Big Local funding appropriately.
KnowHowNonProfit is an online resource for nonprofit people to learn and share what they have learnt with others.