Every area of life has its own jargon and the third sector (who?) is no different.
Sometimes this is useful as it acts as a shorthand for everybody. But, if you don’t know then it can be confusing and this can put us off from becoming involved. So, in an attempt to bring a little light to the topic we have put together a few explanations and definitions.
Community Groups – usually smaller not-for-profit groups run by volunteers and small numbers of staff, if any.
Consortium – this is where a group of organizations come together to work in partnership on a project. It could be informal or have a written agreement.
Evaluation – how you are going to look at what you do and see if it is working as well as it can.
GDPR – this stands for General Data Protection Regulations and is the latest law around how organizations collect, store and use information about people. It can appear complicated but for most organizations the rules and how to use them are simple.
Governing Documents – this is your rule book, your bible, the document which tells you how you operate. There are different words and types but they all do the same thing: constitution – usually for small groups, charities and charitable incorporated organizations; memorandum and articles of association – for companies limited by guarantee and community interest companies.
Inputs – this is the what you need to do what you do. The ingredients for your service or project. These could be; salaries; volunteer expenses; equipment; vehicle rental; venue rental; gas and electric for your premises; sessional workers.
Localities – this is the model that Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council is now working on. The Borough is split into four areas so that statutory and third sector organizations can work together on the problems of the areas. The areas are North (Birchills Leamore, Blakenall, Bloxwich East and Bloxwich West); East (Aldridge Central & South, Aldridge North & Walsall Wood, Brownhills, Pelsall, Pheasey Park Farm, Rushall-Shelfield, Streetly); South (Paddock, Palfrey, Pleck, St Mathew’s); West (Bentley & Darlaston North, Darlaston South, Short Heath, Willenhall North, Willenhall South).
Monitoring – this is the process where you keep track of what you are doing (how much – quantitative): how many sessions do you run? how many people do you help? What are the ages of the people you help? Where do they live? Monitoring also keeps track of the quality of your work: how many people were satisfied with what you did? How did it make them feel? Did it make life better for them?
Not-for-profit – an organization whose purpose is to help people and not to get money. This will includes social enteprises where the money they make in profit will go back into the community rather than to a manager or shareholder.
Outcomes – this is the change that you make when you do what you do. It means more of the good things and less of the bad things. Examples could be; an increase in physical activity; a reduction in people feeling lonely; fewer teenage pregnancies; a community is feeling more connected. Outcomes are important as funders want to know what changes your project will do, they need to have an idea of how what you do will make things better.
Outputs – this is what you do – your services, your delivery. This could be; advice sessions; lunch clubs; litter picking sessions; music lessons for people.
Service users – this is another term for your clients or customers – the people you help.
Third Sector – this is one of the many ways that we describe ourelves. It changes from time to time (who knows why) and we have been the VCS (voluntary and community sector and are nowadays VCSE (voluntary, community & social enterprise) Sector is used. It probably change again.
Voluntary Groups – usually larger not-for-profit groups that will employ staff but will usually have volunteers as well.
As you can see, when these terms are explained they are quite simple. You will soon be throwing them into your everyday conversation!
Remember: One Walsall has Development Officers who are here to help, whether it is a large or small matter. Telephone to see how we can help: 01922 619 840 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org