Become a member    |     Log in
SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER
Get the latest news and updates from Advice UK.
SIGN UP

Strategy

We are a charity whose purpose is to improve people’s lives; in particular through support to advice services.

Our strategy for being financially viable in pursuit of our purpose is to build a sustainable business group, the activities of which will complement and provide funds for the core charity’s work.

By means of this strategy we seek to achieve the following objectives:

  • Increase our flexible income and resources
  • Enhance our independence
  • Provide leadership in the advice sector
  • Add greater value to advice provision
  • Enhance the impact and public value of advice services

 

This strategy draws on our long experience of successful social enterprise activity. Its emphasis on raising income through enterprise represents a shift in strategy compared with past years. This shift was made necessary by the culmination of trends in the charity services environment, particularly with regards to the availability of other types of funding. Though a shift rather than a complete change in strategy, it will nevertheless have significant internal and external implications.

Background

No advice support organisation has ever been financially viable without some form of external funding to supplement its income. This external funding has usually come in the form of grants. In our case, it has come from project funding (grants and contracts) and surpluses generated by our own enterprise activity. In most years, this funding has enabled us to spend more than £1 million on support to advice services. But this is just a fraction of the £5 million annual spend we estimate is required to provide optimum support to our constituency of around 1,000 independent advice organisations across the UK.

Historically, our strategy for closing this financial gap has been to try to secure an equitable share of central government core funding for advice support organisations but recent developments have rendered that strategy no longer even remotely plausible. Now, without any prospect of a subsidy from central government, and given the reducing availability of project funding, especially for support organisations, the only option for closing our funding gap is to try to generate more income from enterprise activities. This presents us with an extremely difficult long-term challenge but the requirements of it are at least familiar to us and we have a range of assets to build upon. We already possess some of the knowledge, skills and affiliations necessary to extend our activities and continue to increase unrestricted income.

Over the next five years we will seek to invest in the resources necessary to grow and further increase the proportion of our unrestricted income. Where we do seek restricted funding that is project-based it will be to fund activities within a prospectus of support projects that we will develop. We will also continue seeking to develop relationships with non-advice organisations in all three sectors of the economy in order to broaden our potential income and enhance the public benefit we and our members are able to deliver.

 Latest News 

In advance of this autumn’s Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR), AdviceUK has made representations to HM Treasury on what we see as the key issues affecting our members and the people they support.

In Bristol, the Aviva Foundation is already supporting Talking Money, St Pauls Advice Centre and AdviceUK to test out how a Whole Person, Whole Community Approach can contribute to building financially-resilient communities.

AdviceUK works with funders involved in the Community Justice Fund to ensure that a large segment of specialist legal advice continues to be funded, in addition to the support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

AdviceUK has produced a report containing information about clients and cases for the 12 months ending 31 March 2021. The report shows the impact that COVID-19 had on advice service delivery.