Investment Readiness Diagnostic Tool Step 1 of 7 14% Social ImpactQuestion 1*Does your organisation have a clear vision for change and the impact you are trying to achieve? We have a vision in place but it is not necessarily fully agreed and understood, inside or outside the organisation. Actual delivery and impact is not proven yet. We have a vision in place and it’s understood inside and outside the organisation. It is not widely used and our impact is still to be proven. We are well established, have an agreed vision and articulation of the impact we want to achieve. We have already started to effectively deliver against this vision but we don’t have it reviewed by anyone independently. We regularly review our vision, mission and objectives, and Board and staff are all aware and signed up to them. We can point to sustained delivery against, and review of, our ongoing mission. It is shared externally. Question 2*What methods does your organisation use to measure impact? We do not have a formal method in place to track our impact. We have systems to measure our impact and we track certain key indicators throughout the year. At the moment we measure impact mostly in terms of outputs (numbers) achieved rather than trying to measure our outcomes. We have a method developed internally which helps us to capture outputs and longer term outcomes. We periodically carry out analysis to try to capture our longer term impact. We use an established and externally developed Social Impact methodology which is fully embedded in our overall organisational systems. We routinely track outputs, outcomes and impact and can report on our impact and achievement against mission in real time. Question 3*How do you ensure that the information you capture and report about your social impact is verified? We don't routinely collect information about our organisational impact. We feel that our internal processes to capture information are robust, but no-one inside or outside the organisation ever “audits” them. We have systems in place internally to review and audit information to ensure it is being captured fully and accurately. Also some external scrutiny occurs – funders / contract holders require strong audit trails to be in place and do sometimes carry out checks. Our Social Impact methodology routinely involves scrutiny and verification from an independent external body. Question 4*How do you report on your achievements and impact? We don't publish a document such as annual social impact report but we report to funders and others to satisfy their requirements. We report our impact in our annual financial accounts and to funders when requested. We occasionally use social media and undertake PR activity. We usually produce an annual report which contains information and clear data about our achievements. This reports on individual projects rather than trying to assess overall impact. We periodically use social media and undertake PR activity. We always produce an annual report which has clear statements about our performance and the social impact we feel we are achieving. We share it with stakeholders, publicly and promote it widely. We fully utilise regular social media, PR activity. Question 5*To what extent are your staff, volunteers and Board involved in the discussion on and reporting of social impact? The subject of social impact is not discussed regularly within the team/board. Generally when carried out, one member of staff or the CEO will report, when requested by a funder or investor. At least annually, the subject is discussed within the team and features within Board meetings when requested. Monitoring and reporting is the responsibility of a specific individual and this function is documented within their job specification. Few understand the differences between outputs and outcomes. Social impact features regularly across the year in team and Board meetings. All team members are aware of its importance and most understand outputs and outcomes. There is a wider team responsibility for collecting and collating data although one member of staff has ultimate responsibility for reporting. Social impact is at the heart of the culture of the organisation and reporting features just as highly as financial performance in all team and Board meetings. If asked any member of the organisation including board members could articulate the story of the difference we make. We have a dedicated social impact reporting team or individual. HiddenSocial Impact GovernanceQuestion 1*Which of the following best describes the contribution that your current Board makes to strategic development? We have several vacancies on the Board at the moment, and Board members are not really in a position to help to develop strong strategic plans or vision. Our Board is not as involved as it should be, or sometimes gets involved in the wrong things. It does make a reasonable contribution to vision and strategy, but in general there is perhaps an over-reliance on staff for these things. The Board is strongly involved in setting our overall direction and vision, and has a reasonable understanding of how the organisation operates and what its current challenges are. Realistically, no Board member could really be asked to help present the details of a business case to an investor. The Board sets a strong vision for the organisation and has a deep understanding of our opportunities and challenges. At least one Board member could be relied upon to confidently present the details of a business case we had developed to an investor. Question 2*Which of the following describes the specific business skills that your Board brings to the organisation in relation to accountancy, legals, HR, marketing and business development? Negligible…perhaps one area covered. Modest – perhaps two areas covered. Reasonable – perhaps three areas covered. Extensive - all areas covered. Question 3*Financial skills and understanding of the Board We have nobody on our Board who really has the skills to understand and interrogate accounts. Less than half of Board members fully understand accounts. Most Board members can fully understand and interrogate accounts. Almost all Board members can fully understand and interrogate accounts, and there is an Accountant on the Board with specific experience of our area of business. Question 4*Which category best describes your board? Board meetings are poorly attended and sometimes not quorate. Reports are not circulated in advance. Quality of discussion and challenge can be poor, with the same few people always dominating. Board meetings are not always well attended. They do not last for an appropriate length of time (either too short or too long) and often the focus of time is on the wrong things. The Board does not always feel as though it is operating with one voice, and decisions sometimes get glossed over, with staff ultimately having too much influence on important matters. Board meetings are well attended, and most people engage and contribute well. There is a feeling that there is room for improvement, but in general the right things are discussed and issues get satisfactorily resolved. Staff are usually constructively challenged. Board meetings are always well attended with few apologies. The agenda is clear, reports are circulated in advance, and discussions are focused, constructive and purposeful. Staff are always constructively challenged and the Board feels fully on top of things and in control of the organisation’s strategy. Question 5*Which statement best describes the financial skills and expertise within the organisation? The organisation has little (or limited access to) professional financial skills although may process and maintain basic financial record keeping through finance admin staff. There is an experienced bookkeeper (internal or external) who maintains up to date and accurate records but with limited expertise around reporting, preparation of year end accounts and interpretation of the figures. There is an experienced finance manager who is able to both maintain up to date and accurate accounting records and is able to prepare good quality management accounts and budgets as well as interpret key figures. The organisation has a qualified accountant (or qualified by experience) who is a member of the senior management team and who ensures effective financial controls are in place as well as maintain accurate records and the production of high quality management and year end accounts. In addition this person is able to analyse and interpret financial performance and advise on business and organisational strategy. HiddenGovernance Products & ServicesQuestion 1*What proportion of your revenue is earned income (i.e. not including grants)? Less than 20% 21% to 40% 41% to 75% 75% to 100% Question 2*How clear are you about the product(s) or service(s) that you offer? We’re at a very early stage. We have some ideas for what our product(s) or service(s) would look like, but we have more work to do on them. We have reasonably well developed product(s) or service(s), but its still quite early with only limited delivery. We have clear product(s) or service(s), and have some track record of delivery. However further development and refinement needed. We have extensive track record of delivery with very clear and established product(s) or service(s). We have developed very clear language to describe exactly what people are buying and why they should buy from us rather than someone else. Question 3*How much demand do you have in the immediate future for your product(s) or service(s)? We currently don't know of any definite customers who might be interested in buying or funding what we have to offer. There is some demand for what we have to offer, but we know we still need to develop the market further. There is generally good demand at the moment for what we have to offer, but are uncertain in terms of the number of potential customers and how much they would buy from us. There is a ready market for what we have to offer. We can sell our product(s) or service(s) to a wide variety of customers, and understand and can meet the different needs of those different customers. Question 4*What is the competition like for the product(s) or service(s) you offer? How is your offer different from your competitors? We don't know at this stage…it’s too early to say. We know there is fairly high competition in the area in which we operate, and we find it hard or expect to find it hard to be competitive. We feel we can offer product(s) or service(s) that no one else can, and can be competitive on price and quality, but we also do have some competitors and have to work hard to differentiate ourselves. We are clear about our Unique Selling Points and are known as a market leader in our field. We are clear about our competition and regularly assess it. We know what we have to do to continue to differentiate ourselves from our competitors. Question 5*How dependent are you on just a few key relationships to secure your revenue? We rely almost exclusively on one source of revenue (e.g. grant/local authority) and know that without them we would not be able to survive. We have very limited alternative sources of revenue but are taking steps to move away from this dependency. We would still struggle to survive if any one source of revenue were to withdraw. We have a good array of alternative income sources. The loss of any one source would require us to restructure our operating costs but we would be able to survive. We have started to examine and assess the costs of delivery associated with each revenue stream. We continue to explore and expand the mix of income sources and understand the contribution each makes to our profit. The loss of any one source, whilst unfortunate would not place the organisation under significant pressure. HiddenProducts & Services People & SkillsQuestion 1*Do staff have the capacity, resources and skills to deliver? Its too early in our development and we don't currently have a staff team in place to deliver our proposed activity. At the moment we have a big gap between the staff resources we have, and those we need, to deliver our proposed activity and objectives. Our approach to staff training and development is patchy. We have most of the staff team we need in place and they are already delivering well, however there are some areas to address, particularly if we are to grow further. We support our staff with training and development opportunities. Yes. We have the capacity and skills in place in the staff team both for our current needs and for our growth plans. Staff consistently perform strongly, and we have a strong training and development plan for the organisation which allows us to build the staff skills and qualifications we need for the future, and retain our best people. Question 2*Which of the following best describes the experience of your most senior member of staff? We have not as yet identified a senior manager. The organisation is being developed by the Board or single founder. Our manager is good at managing our current projects, but is not very experienced at successfully starting complex new ones. Our CEO is well regarded and has a good track record in our sector, however is less experienced at developing and pitching investment proposals in relation to our growth areas. Our CEO is a highly regarded leader with a clear vision for the future and a strong track record of both attracting new investment and delivering quality products/services. Question 3*Which of the following statements reflects the skills and experience of your staff/volunteer team in relation to marketing? We don't really have staff with any sort of marketing understanding or background, and wouldn't really be sure about concepts such as market research, competitor analysis, customer segmentation. We have some staff who have some experience and a basic grasp of marketing issues but it isn't formally part of anyone's role or job description. Marketing is seen as an important skill within the organisation and we have people who are identified as having those skills. We have actively recruited and trained people to support us with marketing issues, update the website and undertake social media. We have an up to date marketing plan and have named staff within the organisation who are responsible for implementing and updating it. These staff are highly experienced and qualified, and marketing is a key part of the day to day running of the organisation. Question 4*To what extent is the organisation reliant on key individuals? Everything revolves around one individual who has the vision drive and energy to make it work. She/he works very long hours and without them the organisation would not function. We are reliant upon a couple of key people with specific knowledge and experience and without one of them the organisation’s income, quality of service or administration could potentially suffer until a replacement is recruited. There is range of people with skills and experience who work well together such that were one to leave, whilst unfortunate, we would be able to function well. We have a broad team of skills and a well developed succession plan in place. If someone is off ill or on holiday we’re able to work together so that the impact is negligible. The skill set is such that no one job is mission critical. Question 5*Which of the following best describes the way the business operates? We like to ‘react’ to all new business opportunities as and when they arise…we jump straight in. There’s little time for planning and we frequently find that something can get missed because there’s so much going on! We don't usually discuss things with the Board unless it goes wrong. We have a plan but we don’t really stick with it. We respond to opportunities as they arise and it generally works out ok. We all pitch in to do the work and learn as we go. We let the Board know how things went after the event. We weigh up opportunities and see to what extent they fit our strategic plan making sure that we have the skills to meet need. Staff have a training record and undertake CPD The Board are involved in overseeing this process. We have both a strategic plan and an opportunity matrix. We determine to what extent each opportunity meets our mission and social aim. The team use their collective skills to weigh up costs, benefits and skill needs. Where there are gaps we know how to resource them based on a register of skills which is regularly maintained. HiddenPeople & Skills Business Plan, Sales & MarketingQuestion 1*How would you describe your business planning process? We are currently working on a Business Plan. We have a business plan but it was written some time ago. We have an up to date business plan which reflects the new initiative that we wish to pursue . This includes some elements of financial forecasting and social impact reporting. We have a fully worked up business plan with complete financial and impact forecasts and assumptions. We have examined risks and developed actions in mitigation. Question 2*What is your organisation’s overall approach to managing performance, reviewing plans and developing alternative actions? We don’t currently have a process to review business performance. We have a limited number of target indicators and occasionally review our performance in relation to our plan. We have a wide range of key target indicators and annually review our performance in relation to our plan. The business performance is monitored in a range of ways including a series of key performance indicators. On a monthly or quarterly basis the performance is reviewed through a structured process and meetings and reported to the Board regularly. Question 3*Do you have an existing track record of delivery? We have no real organisational track record, and we don't have staff within the organisation that come with much experience in our proposed area of business either We do have some track record and achievements that we can point to, but mostly in different areas of business to the ones we want or need to move into in the future. We do have one or two staff with some prior experience. We have a reasonable track record of delivery and can point to several successes and achievements. We can provide some customer feedback and references if needed. We have at least two staff with good personal experience/track record in this sector. We can clearly demonstrate and evidence a highly successful track record over many years in relation to areas of the business we wish to grow. We have countless customer endorsements and references we can draw on. We have several staff members who between them have substantial personal track record of delivery, both within and outside of our organisation. Question 4*How would you describe your organisation's involvement in networks and partnerships? We are aware of a few local networks and key local stakeholders relevant to our area of work, but we are not well known to them and not actively involved in any partnerships of note. We are involved in some local networks and are starting to get known locally for our work. We have a few good links to key decision makers relevant to our work, but these still need strengthening and there are many gaps. We are not actively involved in partnerships or networks that really enhance our knowledge, skills or opportunities. We are actively involved in some important networks and partnerships which enhance our ability to perform well, grow and identify new opportunities. We are well known to all the key decision makers in our area of work, although we struggle to really get our message across and influence their agendas. We are actively involved in several important networks and partnerships at both local and national level. We invest significant resource into partnership development and keep under active review the partnerships we are involved in to ensure that we are positively contributing and benefitting from them. We are an established and respected organisation in our field and achieve strong influence on the plans of our key stakeholders. Question 5*What is your organisation’s approach when it comes to managing change and development? We know what works well and are reluctant to change our model unless forced to do so. We like to feel ahead of the market and are always looking for ways to change. Sometimes we maybe develop too much and too quickly and in the past have been in danger of running before we can walk. We weigh up opportunities and see to what extent they fit our strategic plan making sure that we have the skills to meet need. The Board are involved in overseeing this process. We have both a strategic plan and an opportunity matrix. We determine to what extent each opportunity meets our mission and social aim. The team use their collective skills to weigh up costs, benefits and skill needs. The Board are integrally involved in the process. HiddenBusiness Plan, Sales & Marketing Financial ControlQuestion 1*Which statement best describes the financial systems used for recording and managing finances and accounts? A manual paper-based system records our transactions and periodically we forward this to our accountant/bookkeeper to upload onto their system. We have a range of excel spreadsheets. We maintain this ourselves and forward the files to our accountant/bookkeeper at the end of the financial year. A basic accounting system is used (such as Sage Instant) and liaise with our accountant periodically. We have a accounting package which has been set up in a way that fully meets our needs. The system is maintained internally. Staff and managers are able to access information and produce relevant reports. Question 2*How would you describe the organisation’s current financial position? We have little or no free reserves. Whatever cash we do have is restricted in the way it can be used (e.g. as determined by a funder). We have clear line of sight to less than 3 months confirmed revenues (trading/grants). Statutory accounts are not always filed on time and we are occasionally behind with payments to HMRC/VAT. We have a pension liability (where applicable). We have some limited free reserves amounting to no more than 2 months operational costs. We have line of sight to between 3 and 12 months confirmed revenue (trading and grants). We generally file our accounts on time and are not behind with payments to HMRC/VAT. We are investigating the impact of any pension liability (where applicable). We have a healthy level of unrestricted reserves amounting to between 3 and 6 months operational costs. We have clear line of sight to at least 18 months income, without significant dependency on grants. All statutory filings and payments are up to date. We are not concerned by any pension liability. (where applicable). We have excellent unrestricted reserves amounting to between 6 and 9 months operational costs. We have clear line of sight to between 18 and 36 months income with little or no dependency on grants. We have never filed statutory returns late or been behind with HMRC/VAT payments. We have no pension liability. Question 3*Which statement best describes your cashflow over the past 12 months? Over the past 12 months cashflow has been very difficult and we have struggled on a regular basis to meet wages and other costs. Cashflow has been very tight through a significant part of the year, but has generally held steady and not worsened. Cashflow has generally been positive, although at occasionally managing it has not always been comfortable and there may have been one or two difficult times during the year. Cashflow has been positive and generally improving throughout the last 12 months. Question 4*Which statement best describes your outlook for cashflow over the next 12 months? The outlook is currently a concern and the expectation is that unless a specific plan is put in place to turn things around, cashflow is likely to worsen. Cashflow is expected to be very tight through a significant part of the year, but our view is that it should generally remain positive and not worsen. Cashflow is expected to be positive, although could well be uncomfortable on one or two occasions. Cashflow is expected to be positive and generally improve in the coming year. Question 5*Which statement best describes the financial reporting within the organisation? Financial reporting does not exist or tends to be very limited or sporadic. Where produced, the reporting may not be timely and often circulated at or just before meetings of significantly after the end of the period reported on. Reports are prepared but these may be limited to income and expenditure reports and which may not show a breakdown by for example, restricted and unrestricted funds or by business unit / activity, and hence do not show the whole picture. Explanations of differences to budget are limited or not given. Reports are often circulated just before or tabled at meetings. The financial reports generally show the overall position of the organisation. The reports include a cashflow forecast as well as some financial forecasts. However, whilst accurate, they prepared using a large number of spreadsheets which may make it difficult to interpret. Reports are usually circulated in a timely manner. The financial reports clearly set out the performance of the organisation including income, expenditure, cashflow performance and forecasts. There are distinctions between restricted and unrestricted funds. Balance sheet and working capital information is provided and is well understood by managers and board members. Reports are prepared and circulated in a timely manner. HiddenFinancial Control Want to share your results with us?*Find out how close you are to being able to access social investment and how we might be able to help. Select Yes, add your details and we’ll be in touch. Yes No Name* First Last What's your organisation called? PhoneEmail* HiddenTotal ScorePhoneThis field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.