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Top 5 tips to starting a CIC and keeping it simple

When setting up a CIC you can get over whelmed and it is easy to over complicate it. I tell my clients all the time keep it very simple.

Here is my top 5 tips;

  1. Keep the name and the main aim of your CIC loose and not to narrow. You will be running different projects every year so you will need to keep slightly altering what you do to keep getting funding years after year. So by keeping you name and aim open to being able to have all sorts of great projects you can keep getting new projects funded. For example, instead of saying you CIC aim is to help a certain gender, age group with say one type of art form like dance. Just say your aim is to help disadvantaged people in your area in the arts. That way later you could do a adult group or could diverse into another art form.

  2. Select Directors you know dont want to get over involved and want money. Silent and supportive directors are better as they will let you get on with it. If they are trying to also benefit financially or have paid jobs on your projects you will not be sustainable on a small grant programme and things will become very difficult. You want to avoid conflict so be very clear a director is an unpaid position and they should just be looking at this a voluntary work that helps their community. It looks good on their CV so a young person or someone long term unemployed would benefit.

  3. Come up with a simple project that wont take up too much of your time. A £10-15k project grant only needs to benefit a small group in the community. If you had an impact on 5 people that is fine. I aim for 35 people for workshops based projects over a year. 4 workshops a year is fine for an arts Council or Lottery project or 1 event and a couple of workshops.

  4. Dont over spend on your budgets. Mainly pay yourself and try to keep materials, venue costs and paying anyone else down to a min. Otherwise you will not be able to live on the pay you give yourself. You need to be paid for your work and funders expect to see this.

  5. Create impact by asking your target group what they want you to offer from a project. Get feedback and do your research before so you know people will want to engage in your project activities.

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