Financing community organisations
By Chris Ogle on April 21st, 2019
Recently, there was a post in the “Friend’s of Link4Growth Facebook Group” about lottery funding being used to finance initiatives across East Anglia. 5 great projects that would be massively enhanced and reach a lot more people with a financial injection.
It is very tempting when running ‘not for profit’ organisations to reach out and apply for grants and / or lottery funding, to provide that instant boost. I have forgotten how many times it has been suggested that Link4Growth fits the profile of an organisation that would be readily supported in this way, so why don’t we too reach out for money?
Uniquely it would seem, Link4Growth has resisted any and all attempts to seek external funding. Moreover anyone attempting to ‘advertise with’ or ‘benefit from’ the use of the Link4Growth name have been quickly dismissed. Link4Growth provides the opportunity for all… money doesn’t buy more…
So why haven’t we applied for funding?
a. People who lend you money start making demands on you, want control.
b. Once you get to rely on the money there is a temptation to build an organisation that depends on it, this weakens the organisations resilience.
c. Staying lean has meant systems have to be highly efficient there is no money for wasted effort.
d. We always seek to solve the riddle ‘How can we do this without any money’. This opens up new connections. Provides opportunities for people to contribute.
e. Freedom to decide on the organisation’s own destiny without financial agenda’s of money people.
Actually what would an organisation like Link4Growth do with the money anyhow? … Money is divisive, how would we spend it? Disagreements? … and division. Link4Growth is about bringing people together, unity… the whole organisation is based on being self sustainable and not reliant on big money… (What happens when you don’t ask for money?)
After Link4Growth worked through its birthing process and teething problems the main criteria for the organisation was to bring local people together to have conversations with no agenda. Having observed the limitations of Business Networking, Link4Growth believes everyone has the right to come together, and network with others, not just those in business… and… everyone should be able to attend, regardless of their financial status.
i) Inclusive, anyone in the community can participate
ii) Free to attend, so that all barriers are removed
Latterly the organisation has become an Association, that happened on May 1st 2017. The link provides answers to some of the reasons why that happened. This now cements the organisation as a stand alone Association which is managed by an operations team on behalf of the “Friends of Link4Growth“. Significantly in this transition Link4Growth has also become a Leaderless organisation with no single point of failure (Starfish and the Spider).
Link4Growth is here to stay. It has a rock solid sustainable financing model, and every hour invested in Link4Growth is never wasted. No one can shut it down, so long as the Associates want it. It is owned by us, it is operated by those passionate about it and it has been established now for over 8 years (April 5th 2011).
Link4Growth is constantly evolving, improving and growing so that it can bring the benefits of what is offered to more and more people. This is delivered with passion all from the hands of those that love what Link4Growth seeks to achieve.
Chris is passionate about community and has been involved with Link4Growth and community building since the start in 2012. Chris now devotes most of his time to facilitate connection, collaboration and community in the district of South West Herts as well as supporting the Link4Growth Association.