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Business Continuity – The Cabinet Office defines Business Continuity as a process that helps manage risks to the smooth running of an organisation or delivery of a service, ensuring continuity of critical functions in the event of a disruption, and effective recovery afterwards.

Capacity Building – The Charity Commissions definition is ‘...developing the capacity and skills of the members of a community in such a way that they are better able to identify, and help meet, their needs and to participate more fully in society’.

Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) – The Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) is a new corporate structure for charities, which will provide some of the benefits of being a company but without some of the burdens.

Child Protection Policy – A child protection policy is a statement of intent that demonstrates a commitment to safeguard children involved within an organisation from harm.

Collaboration – The Charity Commission defines collaborative working as joint working, by two or more charities, on a project or venture in order to fulfil their purposes, whilst remaining as separate organisations.

Commissioning – Manchester City Council defines Commissioning as the whole cycle of assessing the needs of people in an area, designing and then procuring an appropriate service to provide for those needs.

Community Engagement – Community engagement is the process of involving people in decisions that affect them.

Community Interest Company (CIC) – The CIC Regulator defines Community Interest Companies as limited companies, with special additional features, created for the use of people who want to conduct a business or other activity for community benefit, and not purely for private advantage.

The Compact – The Compact is the agreement between the government and the third sector (independent voluntary organisations, charities, community groups, etc.) which outlines a way of working that improves their relationship for mutual advantage.

Company Limited by Guarantee – Companies limited by guarantee do not have shares, and its members are guarantors rather than shareholders. The members' liability is limited to the amount they have agreed to contribute to the company's assets if it is wound up. (Business Link)

Consortium – GMVSS defines a consortium as two or more organisations coming together and pooling their resources to achieve a common goal.

Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) – CBA is the analysis of alternative courses of action to maximize economic, social and environmental outcomes. As a tool it is used to improve the effectiveness of local groups, agencies, and government by informing policy and practice. CBA does not answer the question “Should we take action?” this is answered through developing a business case. It measures which solution or action will be better.

Constitution / Governing Document – This is a set of agreed rules governing how an organisation will be run, how the members will work together and what they are working towards.

Co-operative – The Co-operative Group defines a co-operative as a group of people acting together to meet the common needs and aspirations of its members, sharing ownership and making decisions democratically. Co-operatives are not about making big profits for shareholders, but creating value for customers.

CRB Check – A CRB check searches your details against criminal records and other sources, including the Police National Computer. The check may reveal convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings. You, and your employer, will see the results of your search. Whatever the results your employer will decide whether they can still employ you. (Directgov)

The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) – The CRB helps employers in England and Wales make safer recruitment decisions. A number of roles, especially those involving children or vulnerable adults, are entitled to a criminal record check. (Directgov)

Data Protection – Data protection involves ensuring that personal data isn’t processed without the knowledge and consent of the person who the data relates to and to also ensure the data is processed accurately and there are standards in place to process the information.

Dissolution Clause – The Charity Commission defines a dissolution clause as the part of a governing document that sets out how the charity should be brought to an end. It may also be referred to as ‘winding up’.

Full Cost Recovery – The Big Lottery Fund defines full cost recovery as securing funding for all of the costs involved in running a project.

Incorporated Associations – Incorporated associations have a recognised legal form (e.g. a company limited by guarantee) meaning that trustees are not normally liable for debts incurred or negligence. In the event of a problem, the organisation would be pursued, rather than individual trustees.

Independent Provident Society (IPS) – The Financial Services Authority define an industrial and provident society as an organisation conducting an industry, business or trade, either as a co-operative or for the benefit of the community.

The Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) – ISA’s role is to help prevent unsuitable people from working with children and vulnerable adults.

Management Committee – A management committee is a committee of people who will organise how the organisation is run. This is to ensure that decisions are made in a democratic way and so all committee members take collective responsibility.

Merger – The Charity Commission defines the merger of charities as two or more separate charities coming together to form one organisation. In such cases, either a new charity is formed to carry on the work or take on the assets of the original charities, or one charity assumes control of another.

Outcomes – Manchester City Council defines outcomes as the changes, benefits, learning or other effects that happen as a result of services and activities provided by an organisation. The outcome measures the success or result of the activity.

Outputs – Manchester City Council defines outputs as the activities, services and products provided by an organisation. The output measures the activity, it should be provable and easily defined.

Parents and Teachers Associations (PTAs) – PTAs consist of parents and staff and its aim is to encourage better relationships between parents and their children's schools.

Partnership Working – Partnership working involves joint working with individuals, agencies or organisations with a shared interest to produce a defined product.

Procurement – Manchester City Council defines Procurement as the specific aspect of the commissioning cycle which focuses on the process of buying services, from initial advertising through to appropriate contract or grant arrangements.

Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act – The primary aim of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act is to strengthen current safeguarding arrangements for individuals in the workplace. Its purpose is to reduce the risk of individuals suffering harm at the hands of those employed (in either a paid or voluntary capacity) to work with them.

Social Enterprise – Social Enterprise UK define social enterprises as businesses driven by a social or environmental purpose. As with all businesses, they compete to deliver goods and services. The difference is that social purpose is at the very heart of what they do, and the profits they make are reinvested towards achieving that purpose.

Social Return on Investment (SROI) – The New Economics Foundation define SROI as an outcomes-based measurement tool that helps organisations to understand and quantify the social, environmental and economic value they are creating.

Tenants and Residents Association – A Tenants and Residents Association or TARA is a group of local tenants and residents who come together to work towards achieving common goals to make improvements in their areas.

Tender – A tender is a formal document which sets out proposals and requirements of work to be done.

Unincorporated Associations – Some groups (even if they are registered charities or charitable trusts) are known as unincorporated associations, that is, in law they are not recognised as a legal entity or organisation, but as a collection of individuals. This is important, because it means that trustees can be held personally liable for the debts of the charity.

Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) / Third Sector / Civil Sector – These are the terms used to describe the range of organisations that are neither public sector nor private sector. It includes voluntary and community organisations (both registered charities and other organisations such as associations, self-help groups and community groups), social enterprises, mutuals and co-operatives.

Volunteering – Volunteering involves spending time, unpaid, doing something that aims to benefit others. 

Jargonbuster is a website by CES and the Jargonbuster group. It is dedicated to providing clear and simple definitions of the key terms usually used to describe what organisations are doing and the difference their work is making.