A to Z of funding (O)



The steps on the way to achieving your aims.

Some people say that objectives should be SMART:

Specific - avoid a vague, all-embracing wish-list
Measurable - how can you tell if you've achieved them?
Agreed - within the organisation, with funders
Realistic - can they be achieved?
Time Limited - by when?

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Office for Civil Society

A continuation of the previous Office of the Third Sector, the Office for Civil Society was created after the formation of the new coalition government in May 2010. The office aims to advocate the third sector and coordinate sector-related work across government. Francis Maude is the current Minister for the Third Sector, working in the Cabinet Office.

The office brings together the work of the Active Communities Directorate (ACD), formerly in the Home Office, and the Social Enterprise Unit (SENU), formerly in the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Office for Civil Society
Cabinet Office
70 Whitehall
T: 020 7276 1234
E: voluntarysector@cabinet-office.x.gsi.gov.uk
Website: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/cabinet-office

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Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR)

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) became operational in December 2003 at its offices in Dundee, assuming wide-ranging powers to regulate the charity sector in Scotland.

OSCR will:

  • maintain an up to date index of Scottish charities
  • provide a central source of information
  • develop a monitoring and supervision programme
  • investigate and take action in cases of misconduct or mismanagement

In May 2005 the OSCR signed an agreement with the Charity Commission, in order to avoid regulation overlap. The agreement will ensure greater consistency and co-operation between the two UK charity regulators and is a move to modernise the regulation of charities across Scotland, England and Wales.

Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator
2nd Floor
Quadrant House
9 Riverside Drive

T: 01382 220 446
E: info@oscr.org.uk
W: www.oscr.org.uk

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Office of the Third Sector

Replaced by the Office for Civil Society.

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  • the impact or effect on people and the environment
  • the difference that a project really makes
  • the point of doing it all

Outcomes are often contrasted with outputs. Maybe 6 people came on your course. That's a measure of output. Like a factory churning out products, you've put 6 people through a training course and they've come out the other end. But the outcomes might be quite different. Did the course do what it was supposed to do? Did it make any difference at all to the people who came on it?

The BIG Lottery Fund (BLF) is starting to look at all the work it funds in terms of outcomes. You will need to demonstrate that your project will 'make a difference' - during the course of the project. You will need to describe the work in terms of the difference it will make to the beneficiaries. Then you will need to show that your project has in fact made some difference.

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Outputs, outturns

Some funding regimes, particularly statutory ones, link funding levels and payments to outputs. Output measures tend to stress things you can easily count - numbers rather than quality, outputs rather than outcomes, which can be difficult to measure.

For example
output: training course and a number of trainees, a leaflet,
outcome: better health
Outturn (what gets turned out by a process) is similar to output. They are the end result of inputs.

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'Overheads' can mean different things but is generally used to mean some or all the fixed costs that you have to meet no matter how much or how little of an activity you undertake - rent, heat, light, rates, core staff, for example. If you use the word, state clearly what it does and doesn't include.

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