provides a development service for all Small Voluntary Groups in Islington.
From advising you on how to start up an organisation to guiding you
through the process of winding up and every aspect in between, IVAC
is here to help.
What is a Small Group? What makes it voluntary?
IVAC defines a small group as any organisation with three or less full
time staff, or part time equivalents. These groups must also fit the
term “voluntary organisation” or “charity”.
For a fuller explanation of these different terms, as well as the many
other titles and names that are used to describe voluntary organisations,
please see our information pack “What’s in a name”.
want to set up an organisation. How can IVAC help us?
Anybody, or group of people, can make an appointment to come to IVAC
and talk to myself about setting up a voluntary organisation.
At this meeting, we will talk about the group, what its aims will be,
what services it will provide and who will benefit from the work of
the group. We will also talk about the support that IVAC can provide
Usually I will talk you through IVAC’s “Getting Started
Pack”. This pack is intended for those who want to, or who have
recently started a voluntary organisation. It recognises that many people
who set up voluntary groups do not have a great deal of experience in
running organisations, and may be unaware of the different issues involved.
It is designed as a workbook and guide that can referred to throughout
your first year and beyond. It asks you the questions about the issues
you need to consider when setting up such as; writing a constitution,
setting an aim, becoming a charity and starting fundraising as well
as many others.
We have also produced a version aimed specifically at Supplementary
and Mother-Tongue Schools. Both of these can be downloaded from this
are an established group. How can IVAC help us?
Our development work doesn’t end when a group has set up. Providing
your group works in Islington you can draw upon IVAC’s experience
in any area of running your organisation.
Some of the most common questions we receive are on the following topics
Law – how to employ staff, who to write contracts, how
to discipline staff, what policies and procedures are needed, what is
the tax situation with staff and how does a redundancy process work.
Becoming a company – Once an organisation has
been in existence for some time it may be beneficial for it to become
a company. We can explain what this entails and what responsibilities
it places on you as well as help you through the process.
Fundraising – See our Fundraising
Planning – Good planning is essential to the
success of any organisation and we can help you through the steps involved
in the planning process and putting it all into operation.
Legal Requirements and Policies – Charities and
voluntary organisations are subject to the law as any other group. Keeping
up-to-date with all the changes in legislation and policy can be costly
in terms of time, money and energy. IVAC therefore does this on your
behalf. If you want to know what the legal requirements on your organisation
are, or what has changed then we can tell you and more importantly help
you understand what all that legal terminology means, whether its about
Data Protection or Child Protection, Quality Marks or Equal Opportunities,
we can help.
Health Check – IVAC provides a Health Check for
voluntary organisations that have been in operation for at least two
years. The Health Check is a comprehensive overview of your organisation
carried out by our staff through interview with the committee and senior
staff, as well as considering written information such as the accounts,
governing document and other relevant documents. The end result is a
short report, assessing the organisation by commenting on the strengths
and weaknesses we identify. The report will also suggest possible action
you can take to develop those strengths and remove your weaknesses.
The report has many uses, such as an internal evaluation, as part of
a business plan or as evidence for a fundraising application.
Training – Small Groups Development Training
is mostly provided through the Resource Worker Work but occasionally
we will offer free training on issues we believe of strong importance
to groups. This training will be advertised through ICN,
and by direct letter to small groups in our database.
have more than three staff but all this applies to us as well! What
can we do?
recognises that the cost of obtaining this support can be crippling
even for larger organisations. We are therefore very happy to help those
larger groups who could clearly benefit from our support and who carry
out significant part of their work in Islington, providing that this
help does not detract from the support we give to Small Groups.
want to find out more
Please feel free to contact me, Niall Sweby either by phone (020 7226
4862 ex 226) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that IVAC does not run drop-in advice surgeries. If you
do call in without an appointment I will be happy to schedule one, but
it is extremely unlikely that I will be able to see you at that particular
There are also many websites you can visit to
find out further information in your own time. A list of the key ones
Commission Home Page
House - Home Page
- voice of the voluntary sector
for Civil Society
Commissioner/data protection/freedom of Information
Revenue: Gateway for Charities and charitable giving
for the Voluntary Sector
- Industrial Common Ownership Finance Ltd - ICOM
Criminal Records Bureau