crowdfunding for good causes - report by NESTA

Based on interviews with UK crowdfunding platforms and a survey of more than 450 charities, community groups and social entrepreneurs, this report, created by NESTA in partnership with NCVO, explores opportunities and challenges in crowdfunding for good causes.

social entrepreneurs should:

  • try and set up at least one crowdfunding campaign
  • join up fundraising and campaigning teams to run crowdfunding campaigns
  • curate a group of projects on a pre-existing platform or develop a customised crowdfunding platform (particularly relevant for larger organisations or networks).

Download the report; Crowdfunding Good Causes

Authors; Jonathan Bone and Peter Baeck

Free one-to-one support for Social Enterprises

You can book one-to-one support to help develop your existing social enterprise or start a new one!

Free one to one support available until end of April 2016, from West Sussex Social Enterprise Network.

Voluntary Action Arun and Chichester – will give one to one support for Chichester and Arun based groups. Contact VAAC, 01243 840305 or email

University of Chichester – for support with your business plan or marketing strategy contact Gareth Sear, 01243 812041 or email

Sandpiper Business Support Ltd – for support to voluntary and community organisations and social enterprises outside Arun and Chichester Contact Barbara Beaton, 01424 893698 or email

Getting the most out of Trustees and Staff

Top tips for getting the most out of Trustees and Staff and a Free Performance Management Guide for Trustees

Learning from an Excellence in HR and Trustee Management event, this document covers the essential top tips for getting the most out of your trustees and staff.

Overall, it was agreed that having compliance and governance requirements in place was the foundation for managing people effectively, before motivational factors could really come into play to help the team perform in their role. The download offers 6 top tips.

Written by Heather Black, Managing Director, Economic Change CIC

How to write a great press release!

Anna Burn, from FUGU PR, came along to one of BHSEN’s popular networking and training sessions to share top tips for telling your story! You can download her presentation News Release Essentials and/or read the useful checklist below to see if your press release passes the test.

The more you can tick off, the more attention your release will get. Remember to put yourself in the shoes of the recipient before sending by asking these questions:

  1. IS IT REALLY NEWS? The news hook or story must be immediately obvious in the headline and opening sentence. Use the word TODAY and write in present tense.
  2. IS THE KEY POINT UP FRONT AND CLEAR? Ensure your news hook is explained in the opening paragraph. Keep the release short, clear and succinct.
  3. IS THE STRUCTURE (‘PYRAMID’) CORRECT? Answer the 5 Ws: Who—What—When—Where—Why. Then elaborate and add more detail.
  4. HAVE YOU GOT THE BASICS RIGHT? Check your spelling and grammar. Do not repeat descriptive words and phrases. Explain acronyms and avoid jargon. Press releases are factual so avoid hated adjectives like ‘unique’, ‘leading’, ‘cutting-edge’.
  5. DOES THE QUOTATION ADD USEFUL INFORMATION? The quotation allows you creativity beyond the factual release. Add the human element: use colloquial and opinion-led language to get the point across. Don’t repeat the same information.
  6. DOES IT PASS THE ‘SO WHAT’ TEST? Put yourself in the readers’ shoes by asking yourself ‘so what?’. What’s the implication of your news? If you can’t answer think again about what part of the story is most interesting and relevant for readers.
  7. ANY EXAMPLES? Use real life examples, case studies, and quotations to bring your story to life. Good personal accounts of experiences add a human interest element.
  8. PERSONALITIES/CELEBRITIES? A well-known personality or expert can add weight or human interest to your story, increasing the level of journalist interest and pick-up.
  9. WHO IS GOING TO BE READING IT? Tailor your story according to the reader. Regional angle? Trade angle? Older or younger? Ensure both the tone of voice and focus is appropriate for the publications you’ll be sending it to.
  10. ARE THE FACTS CORRECT AND BACKED-UP? Can you substantiate your facts? Refer to research, stats, and quotations. Releases are factual, not opinion led. Double-check facts to avoid embarrassment.

To find out more about how a PR agency can get you access to the press contact

Social Enterprise Hub Incubation Competition

The Platform is very excited to announce a new opportunity for a social enterprise to benefit from incubation support in the social enterprise hub at The Platform; including free work space and a range of resources and activity.

The competition is open to all social enterprises, start-up and established, that feel they would benefit from basing themselves at Brighton & Hove’s vibrant social enterprise hub and from full engagement in the support and activity The Platform has to offer.

What will you get from the Social Enterprise Hub?

  • A base for a 6-month period
  • A free individual desk space in a dynamic shared office space (with potential to rent the desk after 6 months)
  • Central Brighton location, just off West St and close to the beach!
  • Free phone line for local landline calls
  • Reasonable use of photocopier
  • Access to reception for message taking and deliveries
  • Access to wi-fi & broadband internet
  • Lockable filing cabinet
  • Support with finance; forecasting, spreadsheets, cash flow (6 hours across the 6 months)
  • Use of meeting rooms (60 hours across the 6 months)
  • Own set of keys – to enable access to office between 9-6 Mon – Fri
  • Use of postal address
  • Close access to car parks
  • Free attendance at Social Enterprise Support Events and support (mandatory where relevant)
  • Access to informal in-house support and resources
  • Access to support from volunteer experts and work placements
  • Access to the most recent news and knowledge about social enterprise
  • 1 free use of Wagner Hall and training rooms and further uses heavily discounted
  • Kitchen facilities with microwave, teas and coffees
  • Being at the centre of the growing community of social entrepreneurs in the city, with continual organic connections and introductions to like-minded entrepreneurs

What you will commit to the Social Enterprise Hub:

  • Monthly blog posts on your experience and progress
  • Involvement in wider publicity activity
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Attending social enterprise events
  • Being open to supporting The Platform and other social enterprises, wherever possible

How to apply?
Return a complete Expression of Interest form to by 12noon on the 28th Feb. Downloadable here.

Social Lean Canvas - nifty 1-page tool for #socent biz planning

Social Lean Canvas is a tool we’ve stumbled upon to help social entrepreneurs apply the rigours of Lean Startup to ventures that have social or environmental goals that exist independent of their profit motive.The Social Lean Canvas is a tool designed to help Social Entrepreneurs understand and build great business models.

Download the Social Lean Canvas

Created by Rowan Yeoman & Dave Moskovitz in conjunction with the Akina Foundation