This Blog has looked previously at the ‘Keep It Local’ campaign run by Locality and those who attended the 2016 VCS Conference will have heard about it first hand.
There is a central argument that investment in a local community organisation is worth more than its face value, and that, in making decisions about grant giving or about commissioning services, public sector players should take this into account.
An interesting case study from has underlined the point. The Halifax Opportunities Trust were supported by the New Economics Foundation to undertake a detailed examination of the flow of money through their Jubilee Children’s Centre. It was concluded that for every £1 of income at the Centre there was £2.43 of benefit to the local micro economy.
Not all of us have the benefit of specialist economists to undertake such work, but we can all make the point as a generalisation. I am fond of saying that every pound invested in Colebridge Trust’s infrastructure support work delivers three layers of local benefit.
As the first level, it is a part of the turnover facilities the operation of the organisation and the delivery of the outcomes for our beneficiaries. At the next level, it becomes an investment in the beneficiary organisation and facilitates the effectiveness of their work with their beneficiaries. Finally, in consequence, these beneficiaries will typically be less of a burden on the local public purse as a result of effective interventions.
This is something we can all think about and what it means for our organisations. The above case study is an early foray into the application of ‘LM3‘ to the community sector, this being scholarly stuff about the benefit of keeping private sector supply chains local, strengthening micro-economies rather than lining the pockets of distant shareholders.
In this era of globalisation, the benefits of keeping it local are worth keeping in everyone’s minds.