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 +Start up process
 +================
 +
 +Summary
 +-------
 +
 +Setting up a development trust is a complex process likely to take a
 +year and involve the very different complexities of creating both a
 +successful small business and establishing a voluntary body. The
 +structure of a trust as a non-profit company is described in the
 +information sheet [Constitution](constit) . In practice the setting
 +up process must also build a team of committed individuals - the Board
 +and staff of the trust - who have a shared vision of what they are
 +seeking to do, and the skills and resources to do it. The
 +[Board](board) sheet provides more details. To be successful they
 +will need assured funding for several years of operation, offices, ideas
 +for projects and the support of a wide range of local interests. This
 +will involve developing a [Business plan](bus) - see this
 +information sheet. Trusts may be started '​bottom-up'​ by local groups or
 +individuals,​ or '​top-down'​ through the support of a public or private
 +sponsor. Whatever the starting point, an effective trust must deal with
 +a number of tensions:
 +
 +-   The partners on the Board will come from different backgrounds with
 +    different priorities - there may be no initial team spirit.
 +-   To stay in business when initial core funding declines the trust
 +    should rapidly develop projects which are income earners. These must
 +    help pay for the cost of running the trust and subsidise socially
 +    desirable projects which lose money.
 +-   ​Projects and running the trust will demand a wide range of
 +    [Competences](compl) from the small team of staff and Board.
 +-   While struggling to set up the business and develop the first
 +    projects, the trust staff and Board must also gain the support of
 +    local groups and individuals.
 +
 +Unless these issues are addressed in the setting up process the trust
 +may spend many years dealing with internal conflict or facing criticism
 +from local people and groups who resent the new-comer. The process
 +described in this and other information sheets is designed to bind
 +together the '​hard-edged'​ tasks of incorporation,​ business planning and
 +project development with '​softer'​ issues of team building and community
 +involvement.
 +
 +The building blocks
 +-------------------
 +
 +The three main building blocks in the process, bringing together the
 +different strands, are:
 +
 +-   An initial [vision](vision) of why the trust is being
 +    established,​ what it will do, and how it will operate. This will be
 +    sketched out by those involved at the start - the initial
 +    champions - but then developed with a wider audience. It may start
 +    life as a mission statement, become a leaflet and later emerge as a
 +    full marketing prospectus.
 +-   A business plan which turns this vision into a portfolio of
 +    projects, identifies finance and other resources, and sets out an
 +    appropriate management structure.
 +-   The formal constitution of the trust - its company memorandum and
 +    articles of association.
 +
 +The next section outlines the process to develop these documents and
 +launch the trust. It summarises the planning and development sections of
 +the action plan which provides a step by step guide. A [Feasibility
 +study](feas) or local audit may be necessary to gather information,​
 +but is not a satisfactory substitute for the process.
 +
 +Finding the people
 +------------------
 +
 +Developments trusts depend for their success on people - as staff, on
 +the Board, as supporters and advisers, as funders, and as clients.
 +There'​s no substitute for networking - going round and talking to people
 +one-to-one, although later in the process it is important to bring key
 +interests together in groups. A [Steering group](steer) should be
 +formed during the setting up process which is as near a '​shadow'​ of the
 +eventual Board as possible.
 +
 +Choosing the projects
 +---------------------
 +
 +The projects a trust undertakes may range from clean-ups to major
 +building projects, from training courses to festivals. Some projects
 +will come from professional studies - but the best way to encourage
 +'​ownership'​ of the trust and gain people'​s commitment is to hold
 +brainstorming workshops for different interest groups where people can
 +make suggestions that can then be developed and costed in more detail.
 +
 +The initial vision and seminar
 +------------------------------
 +
 +From studies, '​networking'​ local contacts, and workshop discussions it
 +should be possible to develop an initial vision of what the trust will
 +do and how it will operate. The principles of how a trust will operate,
 +and its values, are likely to be as important to local people as the
 +what - the projects it undertakes. Will it do everything itself, or help
 +others? Will its style be open and democratic? Will it compete with
 +existing organisations?​ One way of crystalising the what and how into a
 +'​picture of the future'​ is to hold separate [workshops](work) of
 +public, private and community interests to prioritise projects and
 +discuss [principles](princ),​ then bring people together in a
 +seminar to share the vision and agree to set up a trust. This will
 +ensure broad support for the rest of the process. Before the seminar you
 +may prepare some information sheets and a small exhibition - afterwards
 +it will be possible to produce a more substantial newsletter, if you
 +wish.
 +
 +The business plan
 +-----------------
 +
 +Entrepreneurs starting up are advised to write a business plan, because
 +to do so they must clarify their '​mission',​ identify markets, research
 +and develop product proposals, plan their operations. Put more simply
 +for a trust, the business plan is like a three legged stool, supported
 +by projects and principles (the initial vision), resources, and a
 +management structure and systems. Take away any one of these and the
 +organisation falls over. Writing the business plan is a major task,
 +which is outlined on another toolsheet. At the heart of it is the
 +relationship between core expenditure,​ core income, and projects which
 +may make or lose money.
 +
 +Resources
 +---------
 +
 +A trust getting started will need funds to cover its core costs of
 +staff, office and other overheads - probably £50,000 - £100,000 a year
 +depending on size. It will also need funds for projects, and may look
 +for help in kind in the form of [materials](mat) and advice. Unless
 +the trust is being sponsored 'top down' the steering group or Board will
 +have to undertake the necessary initial fund-raising. To do this they
 +should prepare a proposal or [bid document](bid) as a first draft
 +of the business plan to present to potential funders and supporters,
 +setting out their vision and how they plan to realise it.
 +
 +Management structure
 +--------------------
 +
 +When formed, the trust will have a Board of company directors who are
 +also trustees if the trust company has charitable status. As a company
 +limited by guarantee the trust will have members, not shareholders - but
 +their rights will be limited. It is important to recognise:
 +
 +-   There should only be two tiers of management - the Board and paid
 +    staff. The Board make policy and staff carry it out.
 +-   Tight financial and administrative systems are essential from the
 +    outset.
 +-   Take the best professional advice. Use a solicitor familiar with
 +    development trust structures.
 +-   High calibre staff are essential, and can only be recruited when the
 +    trust can evidently offer attractive employment with secure core
 +    funding.
 +
 +The prospectus and launch
 +-------------------------
 +
 +Prepare a prospectus or other package of promotional material to bring
 +all information together for the launch and to present to funders and
 +supporters. A good format is a folder bearing the trust design identity
 +and including the business plan, project information sheets and any
 +newsletters.
 +
 +Milestones and resources
 +------------------------
 +
 +Overall the process is likely to take up to a year. The main milestones
 +are:
 +
 +-   ​Initial planning sessions and informal discussions by those
 +    promoting the trust to develop a concept statement and action plan.
 +-   ​Workshops to brainstorm and prioritise projects, principles, and
 +    find other steering group members.
 +-   ​Steering group meetings.
 +-   A seminar of all key interests.
 +-   ​Preparation of the bid document or draft business plan.
 +-   ​Presentations to funders and supporters to secure core funding.
 +-   Staff recruitment.
 +-   Legal incorporation and securing charitable status.
 +-   The launch event.
 +
 +During the setting up process you will need to find cash or help in kind
 +to cover:
 +
 +-   ​Communication materials and events
 +-   A development officer and temporary office
 +-   Legal fees and project feasibility studies
 +
 +Start up checklist
 +------------------
 +
 +When starting the setting up process consider:
 +
 +-   Do you understand the nature of development trusts and how they
 +    differ from other organisations?​
 +-   Do you know who are the key interests in the area, and their
 +    concerns?
 +-   Do you have a broad understanding of the local economic,
 +    environmental and social issues, problems and opportunities?​
 +-   Is there an obvious geographical area of operation for the trust?
 +-   Do you have some initial guidelines and principles to suggest for
 +    the process and the trust?
 +-   Are you prepared to be open about why you think a trust is worth
 +    setting up?
 +-   Will you try and broadly define the type of projects - social,
 +    environmental,​ economic - you think the trust should tackle?
 +-   Can you test your first ideas informally with others likely to be
 +    sympathetic and prepared to join a first steering group?
 +-   Are they likely to promote or support a setting up process involving
 +    local public, private and community interests?
 +-   Can you nominate or employ a development officer to run the process,
 +    and raise other setting up costs?
 +-   Are you likely to be able to raise core funding to run the trust if
 +    other local interests support the idea of a trust?
 +-   Are there fixed milestones in the setting up process - perhaps dates
 +    by which bid for funds must be made?
 +
 +© David Wilcox <​david@partnerships.org.uk>​. Tel +44 (0) 20 7600 0104.
 +These information sheets may be freely distributed with this
 +attribution,​ but not republished as a whole.
 +http://​www.partnerships.org.uk/​AZP/​startl [Partnerships
 +Online](../​index) : [The Guide to Development Trusts and
 +Partnerships](../​pguide/​index):​ [other sheets](../​pguide/​sheets)
 +
  
partnerships/azp/start.txt · Last modified: 2017/06/12 10:20 (external edit)