What we do
We can hold money on behalf of grassroots groups.
We sign grant agreements on behalf of grantees.
We help groups and coalitions with independent, neutral backbone/secretariat support.
We help you with bespoke support, whether that’s to do with governance, comms or fundraising.
Need a desk for a few days a month? Our shared office space in Kings Cross is buzzing with changemakers (and free coffee).
In their words
Other ways we help
We’re always looking for new ways to build capacity, community and infrastructure. All with the aim of helping grassroots groups like yours to thrive. Here are just a few ways we do this:
Funders we’ve worked with
Over £16m in total channelled to grassroots groups through SCN
*Responding to our 2021 annual survey – read our full Impact Report here
What’s a fiscal host?
Fiscal hosting is where a legally registered organisation (the fiscal host, also known as a fiscal sponsor) holds money on behalf of a grassroots group, social movement or project that doesn’t have the capacity or desire to register as a formal legal entity. Read more in our blog about fiscal hosting here.
What do we mean by a grassroots group?
We primarily support informal, grassroots community groups that are unincorporated. That means they’re not registered as a legal entity (such as a charity or community interest company).
They may or may not have a constitution – that is, an agreed set of principles around how they govern themselves. And they tend to be hyperlocal, volunteer-led groups that work to benefit the communities they serve.
We also support individual changemakers and start-up social initiatives. Get in touch to find out how we could support you.
Am I right for SCN? / Is SCN right for me?
We don’t have extensive eligibility criteria. But it’s important that you:
- Are a group or individual that’s making social change
- Are unincorporated (in most cases)
- Meet these community guidelines
- Need a safe, secure, transparent way to manage your funds
What’s the difference between fiscal hosting and having a bank account?
To be very clear – we aren’t a bank. As your fiscal host, we can hold your money in our bank account and support you with making payments.
Opening an account with a bank can be a lengthy and difficult process for groups with no legal structure. It often leads to one member of the group holding funds in their personal account, which is a huge risk to that individual.
We offer an alternative way to securely hold your funds, without the bureaucracy. We’ll arrange a call to understand your aims and objectives, as it’s important that all groups we host align with our mission. Our turnaround time can be as little as 2 weeks, as long as your group fits our criteria.
Through our fiscal hosting service, you can deposit and withdraw funds. However, we’re not a bank – and here are some of the key differences:
- You don’t have access to a debit or credit card
- We only process payments on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with a 1pm cut-off – so you don’t have 24/7 access to withdraw funds
- We cannot give any financial advice and do not offer many of the typical services a bank does, such as loans
What does it mean to be incorporated?
An incorporated group is a group that’s legally recognised by the governing body associated with its legal structure.
Incorporating is a process through which an organisation goes from being a group of individuals to a registered entity such as a charity, CIC or limited company. The legal entity may or may not be separate from the individuals involved.
Being incorporated is separate to being constituted (see the question below).
What does it mean to be constituted?
If your group is constituted, it means it has set up and agreed on a constitution. In other words: a set of fundamental principles that each member of the group abides by.
These are the values, goals, and standards which unite the group. They govern individual members’ activities when representing the group, as well as the activities of the group as a whole.
The constitution may also include guidelines for acceptable behaviour, and the process of expelling members. It’s often agreed upon by the majority within a group through a democratic process.
We are incorporated. Can we be fiscally hosted by SCN?
We primarily focus on supporting unincorporated grassroots groups. But we do also host a number of incorporated groups. We decide this on a case-by-case basis, as it depends on the context and values of the group. Contact us if you’re not sure or have any questions.
How much does it cost?
Our services charge a fee ranging from 5% to 7% depending on what you need. There may be extra costs if we’ve agreed something bespoke. Take a look at our different services here – you can find the prices on the relevant pages.
Do you work outside of the UK?
We support some groups that work outside of the UK. Our fees for this kind of support are higher, due to the extra admin on our side and the costs associated with international transfers. Contact us for more information.
Who holds the money, and who’s responsible for it?
We hold all of the money in our bank account. The money we hold on behalf of groups is kept separate from our main business account.
Spending your money is entirely your responsibility. We can offer support with budget management and forecasting if needed.