The Taming of the Shrewd
Episode 1: Turning to Trading
Fran Ferris-Ockwell joins us for our very first episode to discuss how you can build trading activity and earned income streams alongside your fundraising activity.
Fran is the CEO of Nomad Opening Doors, a housing charity in Sheffield (though she's leaving in a few months and joining the Lime Green Consulting team). A few years ago, Nomad faced a funding crisis that threatened the charity's existence. Fran explains how she worked with their trustees and staff to build support for developing a trading arm, and how this has transformed Nomad - not just their financial position, but staff morale, relationships with supporters and the charity's entire culture.
We discussed how lots of people may perceive trading as 'too risky' and worry that they don't have the necessary skills, when in reality they're probably better equipped to succeed than they think.
Fran shared her three key actionable steps with listeners:
- Getting colleagues and trustees on Board with the idea when they may initially be reluctant
- Finding your trading idea or specialism 'close to home' to give you the best possible chance of success
- Sourcing support with the practicalities and legalities of setting things up
If you're interested in exploring this further, here are a few helpful resources, several of which Fran mentions in the episode:
- NCVO's useful guide to tax and legalities: https://knowhow.ncvo.org.uk/organisation/financial-management/tax-and-trading/trading-and-charities
- The rules around trading in charities: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/charities-and-trading
- Courses, funding, mentoring and resources from our friends at the School for Social Entrepreneurs: https://www.the-sse.org/
- Resources and guides from Social Enterprise UK: https://www.socialenterprise.org.uk/
- Pro bono consultancy from the Cranfield Trust: https://www.cranfieldtrust.org/
- Your local CVS might have someone who can offer advice: https://navca.org.uk/find-a-member-1
- Government Business Support Helpline: call them on 0300 456 3565
- Find your local Growth Hub: http://www.lepnetwork.net/