What is it all about?

The Resilient Heritage Strength Checker is a diagnostic tool designed for voluntary and community sector organisations and social enterprises based in the UK that either have, or are looking to take on, responsibility for heritage. It is designed to support them to analyse their organisation and identify areas that could be developed to improve organisational strength.

We know that planning effectively for development and growth, and for the long term sustainability of an organisation can be challenging. This works best when it includes a diagnostic stage, to help in understanding the current picture, and areas of strength and weakness in an organisation’s performance. The benefits of using this tool could also be significant in helping your organisation understand where it must focus to become “investment ready” - having the systems, processes and business model in place to be able to attract investment.

The Resilient Heritage Strength Checker has been developed alongside Heritage Lottery Fund’s Resilient Heritage funding programme. Resilient Heritage grants can support individual not-for- profit organisations, or partnerships or consortia of not-for-profit organisations in the UK to deliver a wide range of activities to build their capacity or achieve significant strategic change. This can be done through acquiring new skills or knowledge, or new models of governance, leadership, business and income – in order to improve management of heritage for the long term. 

The Strength Checker is completely free to use, and we strongly encourage all applicants to Resilient Heritage to include a copy of the report the Strength Checker will produce with their application.

The report is designed to help organisations identify their needs and priorities and you should be able to show how you have built the findings from using the tool into project planning, and into your application. The Strength Checker may also be useful if you are applying to other funders, such as a trust or foundation.

WHO IS IT FOR?

The Strength Checker will be most useful for organisations that have been operating for two years or more, as there is a section which uses figures from your accounts over this period. The Strength Checker will still prove helpful without this information, but will be less accurate. It can be used by any type or size of organisation, although will be more useful for small to medium sized organisations with an annual income of over £10,000.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

The Resilient Heritage Strength Checker will ask you a range of questions about your organisation.

It would be best to fill it out as a management team. It may also be useful to involve an external “critical friend” to challenge your thinking.

At the end, you will receive a personalised report highlighting your organisation’s strengths and areas to develop to build core effectiveness.

These will be reported under the following headings:

  • Sustainability
  • Marketing and opportunities
  • Strategy and plans
  • Track record and capability
  • Quality and  impact
  • Assets

This feedback could be used as a guide to any work that you undertake to strengthen your organisation.

SOCIAL INVESTMENT

Unlike grants and donations, social investment is finance offered to voluntary and community sector organisations, and social enterprises, with the expectation that the investors get their money back, often with interest, and that the investment enables social change.

Social investment is increasingly desirable as a financing option to fill financing gaps for innovation and growth and for sustainability and autonomy.

If you are thinking about how social investment could support your organisation, then you may want to consider applying to Heritage Lottery Fund’s Resilient Heritage programme to support this process.

Resilient Heritage funding can be used to improve the sustainability, capacity and scale of voluntary and community organisations, who have, or are taking on, responsibility for heritage, to deliver greater social impact and have greater appeal to social investors.