The Board Charter: Committed to Community Investment
Board Charter FAQs
Are there any additional costs involved?
There are no costs involved with signing up to the Charter other than the time it takes you to take it to your board and get the paperwork completed. The Charter is intended as a recognition of work already happening, an ongoing commitment to improve that work in the future, and a conversation starter between organisations who are committed to this work.
We don’t have a community investment strategy, or an action plan. Is this a problem?
It shouldn’t stop you from signing up to the Charter. You might already have a business strategy that includes community investment. Or you might have a work plan for community investment. We’re not going to demand that we see evidence of a strategy before awarding the charter mark. What’s important is that you commit to ensuring that community investment is part of your strategy and there is an action plan for it. Through the Centre, we will share ideas for community investment strategies, as well as identify potential mentors who could help you develop your own strategy. We can also support you to develop this and put one in place – do get in touch if you’d like to hear more.
We’re already using a methodology to measure our social impact. Does this matter?
If you’re already using an existing process and proven methodology, then that’s great. If you need to develop measurements for your social value impact, then the Centre can provide examples of organisations who are already doing this, as well as methodologies that you can use, including the UK Social Value Bank.
We’re thinking of reporting on our social impact, but don’t know where to start. Does this matter?
Again, the important message here is that you’re committed to doing this. We can provide you with some examples of social value reporting (for example, ForViva, L&Q and Efficiency North). HACT has a range of resources to help social housing organisations with their adoption of measuring social impact which many others are already using. We’re also in touch with a number of experts in this area who can advise you, as well as potential mentors from other social housing organisations who can facilitate this. Do get in touch.
When you say that housing associations have to work with the Centre, what does this entail?
This depends on you. As well as telling us that you’re adopting the Charter, there are many other opportunities to be involved. It could be that you attend one of our conferences. It might be that you get involved with one of our working groups or you engage with our regional and online networks. Our aim is to create a collective movement in favour of community investment. Our role as a networking organisation is to enable social housing organisations to collaborate with each other, but clearly this doesn’t preclude them from doing this independently of us!
Doesn’t this all mean a lot more work for our community investment team?
No. We’re confident that adopting the Board Charter will be a relatively straightforward process. We have compiled a short document that we hope you’ll be able to repurpose for your Board report. And we’re happy to answer any questions that you might have. And we’d hope that your adoption of the Charter and involvement with the Centre is designed to facilitate and enhance your community investment activities.
Some of our board members are not able to visit our communities, whether because of time or resource pressures. How else can they demonstrate being a part of our communities?
We understand that board members are busy people. From the feedback we’ve received from board members who have visited community investment initiatives, we know that these visits provide a real insight into the value of community investment. Other options might include video presentations, video links, or committing to tabling a discussion or report on community investment twice a year. The aim here is to try and keep community investment on the board agenda and for the board to experience the great work that we do!
How can we be a leader or advocate of community investment in the sector?
There are numerous ways you might do this, whether in the sector, within your local area, or internally. You’re probably already reporting on your community investment initiatives in some way, whether on your intranet or through communications to your residents. If you’re happy to share these with us, we can promote them to the wider community investment sector. We can also talk with you about speaking opportunities, about ideas for changing the narrative around community investment, as well as about getting involved in one of our five working groups, or in taking part in one of our eleven regional networks that meet four times a year. Our aim is to champion and celebrate community investment across the UK by working with community investment professionals: your role in advocating the benefits of community investment is critical!
How do we sign up?
Have a look at this step by step guide to the signing up process.
The Board Charter is a way not only to demonstrate your commitment to community investment, but also to work collectively with your colleagues and peers in order to maximise the impact of the critical work you do within your communities.