Action Together are an infrastructure organisation with a belief in the power of collective activity. By investing in local capacity, they actively enhance the sustainability of the sector they serve.
In Rochdale, this included working with us to provide support for eight local community centres who needed to develop a joint strategy for ensuring long-term sustainability. The community centres recognised the strength that collective action brings and developed a shared vision to work with us to:
Make a lasting difference by supportive collaboration, sharing learning and resources to have a wider reach and impact and a stronger voice for the communities we serve across Rochdale.
The centres identified areas for joint working, including income generation. This might seem a novel, brave approach in a world which encourages charities to compete for resources.
However, by forming the consortium and developing a sustainability plan founded in Lasting Difference principles, the organisations are bringing additional funding and services to their communities.
As the host organisation for this work, Action Together manage their own sustainability by being clear on their role and screening new ideas and opportunities, asking themselves:
- Does this meet our charitable objectives to strengthen the VCFSE sector or lead to positive social change?
- Does it fit with our core work as an infrastructure organisation?
- Is this something that our members offer? Or that they could offer with some development support?
- Can we change or influence the opportunity to clarify the infrastructure element?
Of course, we love this focus on core purpose and capacity! But we also applaud Action Together for being a membership organisation that avoids competing with members for resources.
Importantly, the charity’s focus on building capacity also extends to their own team. Their strategy outlines that they will do this by:
- Creating more time for staff to lead, develop and reflect.
- Improving processes and practices to make them easier and more accessible for staff.
- Investing in staff training, development and wellbeing.
More information and resources
Read more about Action Together’s approach to investing in local capacity in their latest strategy.
Develop your own ways of sustaining focus by using our idea screening tool.
About Action Together
The charity serves the Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise (VCFSE) sector across Oldham, Rochdale and Tameside. Their role is to:
• Provide individual support to grassroots groups.
• Connect people through networks to address the root causes of poverty and inequalities.
• Secure investment and help get funding where it’s most needed.
• Support their members voices to be heard and influence local decision making.