What we think

Poverty Footprinting – A Step Closer

30th November 2015 Posted by: Rachael

By Jo Zaremba, Ethicore Associate

poverty footprint image

You may have missed this, but the UN Sustainable Development Summit launched not only the SDGs, but also the Poverty Footprint Tool and Indicator guidance from the UN Global Compact and Oxfam International.  Two transformational agendas, although the latter may have been overshadowed.  So let’s take a look at the opportunity for this new tool to transform the impact of business.

The Poverty Footprint is an invaluable new assessment tool that enables companies and civil society partners to understand corporate impacts on poverty. As an implementation tool for the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the Poverty Footprint provides a unique opportunity for companies to collaborate with civil society and learn concretely how to make transformational change.  The tool builds on studies conducted over the past ten years and experience of a broad Advisory Group from NGOs, institutions and companies, myself included.

The Poverty Footprint provides a framework for companies and civil society organisations to work together on researching, analysing, and finding solutions to reducing poverty.  It’s a powerful tool for learning and collaboration.  For civil society, it presents standard measures that can work in practice.  For companies, it is a practical approach to begin to understand key poverty indicators.  Most importantly, it provides the essential shared language and a route to develop business models that are pro-poor and generate greater impact.

We’re excited about where this new innovation can take partnerships and programming.  Invitations are open for organisations interested in piloting and testing the tool – and you can check out further information on the UN Global Compact web site https://www.unglobalcompact.org/take-action/action/poverty-footprint.


Jo Zaremba is a development professional, specialising in markets analysis and markets based approaches, corporate responsibility and environmental practices.

Registering your charity – ten lessons learnt

16th November 2015 Posted by: Rachael

So you want to register a charity?  Perhaps you’re setting up a brand new organisation to achieve change in your community. Perhaps its time for your existing community group to take the step to become a formal charity. Here are some of the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve helped organisations through this process.

Registering a charity wordle

Before you start…

  1. Registering your charity is not the first step in the process. First you need to decide on the type of organisation that you want to be, appoint your trustees and write your governing document. The Charity Commission website helps you with governance as well as the process of registering.  There are different rules in Scotland and Northern Ireland which you will find here.
  2. Using one of the Charity Commission’s model governance documents is a good idea. For starters, they help you think through all the things you need to decide. Secondly, the Charity Commission are used to working with them, making questions less likely. Watch out for the objects clause . You’ll need to use specific Commission language here, and again when you register your charity. Choose from a prescribed thirteen set forms of words. Remember these words limit what you can do, so go broad.
  3. When thinking about your board, it’s simpler to register if your board only has non executive members (i.e. staff members don’t sit on the board). The Charity Commission is concerned that board members do not benefit from your work. If you want staff on your board you’ll need to manage any potential issues of personal benefit.
  4. Open a bank account (if you don’t already have one). This can feel circular – the Charity Commission wants your bank account details for you to register, the bank wants your charity registration number. Talk to your bank – they are used to this, and can help with accounts specifically for community groups to get you going.Well done! You’ve decided on your form of organisation, written your governing document, appointed your trustees and opened a bank account. It’s time to begin on the charity registration process.
  5. The Purposes section of the registration form is where you repeat the objects in your governing document – using those standard thirteen set forms of words – remember those?
  6. Now you’re ready to tackle the rest of the “Purpose and public benefit” section and the “Operating and public benefit”. Describe what your charity does and include a link to your website if you have one. Help the Charity Commission understand what you do, who you work with and how you will achieve your objectives. Add examples to bring this to life.
  7. The “where you work” section is simple unless you work globally. If you are working to deliver benefits that will help people around the world then settle down – you’ll need to add every single country in the world one by one.
  8. Watch out for the trustee declaration form. You’re going to need all of your trustees to sign the same document confirming their identities. It’s worth printing off the form and sending it round to your trustees well before you are ready to hit submit.
  9. Don’t take a break, go and get yourself a cup of tea and carry on without logging back in. You’ll find you’ll have been timed out and your work lost. This one was hard learned…
  10. So now you submit and sit back?  Maybe, but not all registrations go through first time. Be prepared for questions, and respond with good detail and examples and in good time.  The process can take between 4 and 8 weeks.

So, 10 steps and you’re on your way.  Good luck!

Kate Wareing

Don’t Ask ‘Why?’ – Creating Behaviour Change

7th December 2014 Posted by: Rachael

Beliefs have a powerful influence on our capability as individuals and also as organisations.  Beliefs can be empowering, enabling us to achieve our potential.  But beliefs can also be limiting, based on generalisations from our own experience.  For example, ‘That campaign won’t work, we tried it before’, or ‘Our organisation is too big to respond quickly’.   Listen to yourself or others in your organisation and you will hear such limiting beliefs often.

questions questions

As researchers, we are often asking ourselves ‘WHY’?  Why do employees, consumers, policy makers, behave as they do?  We want to understand what drives behaviours in order to make positive behaviour change.  It is good to keep searching for truth.  But when it comes to actually changing behaviours, ‘why’ is not the question to ask.  We have been looking to Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) to help create the change we want to see.

NLP challenges the very beliefs that are limiting people in their life and work.  Asking questions about the belief itself, NLP begins to shake the limiting belief.  For example, ‘In what way is this campaign different from before?’, or ‘When has the organisation responded quickly?’, ‘Never, really?’  For an organisation or individual to move forward, they need to form beliefs that will empower them to achieve the change they need, supported with all the evidence they can muster.  NLP is a great resource to support behaviour change.  If you want to dig deeper, we strongly recommend  David Molden and Pat Hutchinson, with their book Brilliant NLP.

So, whether it is in personal or organisational development, do keep asking yourself ‘why’, ‘what’s behind this’ and ‘what’s holding people back?’.  But, when you are ready to create the change, look to the beliefs and how to empower people.