Thank you to everybody who's contacted us for more information about our project. Here are some answers to a few of the most common queries so far.
What is a CIC? Why isn't SocialBox a charity?
A CIC - Community Interest Company - is a special type of non-profit, limited company which exists to benefit the community rather than private shareholders. Our Company number is 12537689 - you'll find our incorporation certificates and basic information about our directorship at Companies House.
We can make money buy selling our goods and services, as well as through fundraising and grants, but we're watched over by the CIC Regulator, and any profit we might make once our basic running costs are met is channelled back into the work of the project, and in the case of our "5% fund", directly to the community as free food.
CICs - the usual structure of Social Enterprises - have the flexibility to generate their own funds instead of relying on charitable grants. Our legal structure strictly prevents personal gain, and our assets are "locked" to another charitable organisation - in our case FareShare Sussex - so that if SocialBox were dissolved, every penny we have goes back to the community.
SocialBox is a CIC because:
A) We needed to get up and running extremely quickly at the start of the COVID lockdown so that we could help meet urgent need. A charity structure can take many months to establish - a CIC structure allowed us to start helping our community almost overnight.
B) We believe strongly that the CIC business model offers us the chance to make the biggest difference, in the most efficient and flexible way. We'll soon be able to cover our own costs without constant reliance on charity, grants and fundraisers - by selling fantastic, ethical food and playing an active part in our struggling local economy and encouraging community resilience.
Do you have a Business Plan?
We most certainly do! And we're very happy to share it with anyone who'd like to see some more detail about our structure, finances, or any other aspect of our project that interests them before they consider backing us. Please contact us if you're curious for more.
That target's HUGE! What happens to my pledge if you don't make it?
What can we say - we're aiming for the skies! These are difficult times for money, for everybody - braving a fundraiser in the current climate is a bold decision. We know we're unlikely to get all the way there - but everything we DO raise will be invested in the strongest foundations possible for SocialBox. No contribution is "too small" - every £1 will be put to use, and we'll tell you all what we spent it on.
If we don't get enough to reach the starting start we need, we'll invest the Crowdfunder pledges - along with the rest of the 5% Fund - on a VERY large delivery of fresh, local food to FareShare, the Food Foundation, local Food Banks and individuals referred to us. Nothing will go to waste.
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