The open market - trading
Maintaining diverse and durable funding streams is the key to achieving sustainability. Trading is one of the main options open to voluntary and community organisations who want to diversify their income base.
Trading and social enterprise are important sources of funding for the voluntary and community sector. They can be used to generate additional income for organisations. Increasingly, many charities are developing enterprise activities that directly relate to their charitable objects. This part of our website explores how you can develop trading activities. It is divided into six sections:
- Introduction to trading: provides an overview of what we mean by trading and social enterprise, what it means for charities and the voluntary and community sector, and why it is important.
- Getting ready to trade: shows you how to get your organisation ready for trade. It looks at how to spot trading opportunities that fit your organisation’s mission, purpose and values. It examines the likely impact of trade on your organisation’s culture and structure, and shows you how to select and develop the most promising enterprise ideas.
- How to trade: addresses five key issues faced by organisations developing trading activities: competitiveness, the rules on trading for charities, establishing a trading subsidiary, the need for commercial skills and how to manage risks associated with trading.
- Further support for trading: provides links to tools, materials, and sources of further information and support for organisations developing trading activities.
- Our latest sustainable funding case studies, and our archive of real life examples of trading contain case studies to help you learn from others in the sector who have used an enterprise approach.
- Only Connect: was our support scheme designed to help you visit another organisation in order to learn from their experiences of trading. Now closed, but with case studies still accessible.
London charity Kids' City have offered valuable services over 15 years using an enterprise approach. Find out how they have used market research, branding and key messages to better meet the needs of families with children in this SFP case study on Kids' City.
Advice and support
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