Our strategy

Our new five-year forward strategy is both bold and ambitious in its plans to grow the profile of the community business model.

The 2018 – 2022 strategy aims to strengthen Plunkett Foundation as the national body for rural community business with the knowledge, relationships and support to match. The strategy emphasises our future ambitions, grounded in our historic values, and to build upon the needs we have identified and our recent work and achievements.

Our 5 strategic objectives

  • Help more communities to develop and open new community businesses and to ensure those already trading have the support they need to thrive

  • Increase awareness of the relevance of the community business model and extend its accessibility and associated support in all rural parts of the UK

  • Extend the social impact community businesses have to all those living in the rural communities we support, especially to those vulnerable to poverty, health issues, isolation and loneliness

  • Create an enabling environment for community businesses in terms of the policy, funding and advisory landscape they work within

  • Improve Plunkett’s own sustainability to ensure it continues to address the needs identified

Our 4 priority areas of implementation

We have four areas of work that are essential to delivering our strategic objectives.

Our ‘Community Business Team’ is the go-to-place for rural communities seeking support for setting-up and running community businesses; providing high-quality support focused on achieving social impact; and to communities from all parts of the UK. In order to achieve these aims, we have refocused both our activities and support. For example:

  • Broadened criteria ensuring we are inclusive of a more diverse range of community ownership solutions
  • Prioritising those with the greatest needs
  • Providing tools and resources to communities in order to achieve a higher level of social impact
  • Reviewing our support to ensure its quality, relevance and ability to allow more start-ups to trading stage
  • Exploring an entrepreneurial approach to delivery, such as charging for elements of our service

Our ‘Engagement Team’ have responsibility for undertaking communications and awareness-raising activities, influencing policy and developing good relationships with a range of external organisations. For example:

  • Maintaining a high-quality communications output and improve proactive communication with new audiences
  • Improve our marketing and information resources ensuring they are more accessible and easy to share
  • Undertake a new programme of events, giving community businesses the networking opportunities they require
  • Host our own influencing events with key organisations such as report/project launches
  • Review our membership categories with the aim to increase the benefits it provides

Gather and share intelligence and expertise on the rural community business sector. Whilst continuing to carry out our current information gathering, such as our Better Business Reports, the establishment of the Hub will depend upon securing the necessary resources. For example:

  • Publish reports on the sector, building on the Better Business reports for community shops and pubs
  • Collaborate with other organisations to undertake research, such as universities and government departments
  • Improve access to resources and expertise for communities setting up and running community businesses
  • Regeneration of the Plunkett library to ensure this resource is accessible and better utilised

Achieving our strategic objectives is dependent on having the right people and systems in place to enable us to be an excellent employer. Securing sufficient resources over the strategy period, putting Plunkett on a more stable financial footing, is a high priority. For example:

  • Review of ‘back office functions’ to ensure they meet the needs of the organisation, outsourcing functions where necessary
  • Strengthen the Board, including carrying out a skills audit of Trustees and seeking new appointments to fill gaps
  • Improve our financial sustainability through a range of measures including; growing new types of income and explore new forms of earned income

Download our 2018 – 2022 Strategy

If you would like to read either our executive summary or the strategy in full, please use the buttons below. Please let us know if you’d like any more information – just email us at info@plunkett.co.uk and we’ll be happy to help.

Download the Executive Summary of our 2018-2022 Strategy
Download the full 2018-2022 Strategy

Need some help?

If you are interested in learning more about community business, the support we have available and the work we do supporting rural communities across the UK, please do contact us and we will get back in touch very shortly.

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