Worcestershire Voices - Success Factors

Success Factors

In March 2017 Data Orchard was commissioned by Worcestershire Voices to undertake research into the critical factors in making a voluntary and community project a success; and whether these can be replicated across Worcestershire.

The survey to identify successful voluntary and community projects in Worcestershire yielded details of 15 projects, with a good range by project type and beneficiaries. Six were explored in more detail through interviews and seven people engaged in a workshop with a further three afterwards.

For a voluntary and community sector project to be a success the critical factors are:

  • passion and determination and energy of group/individuals
  • adequately resourced (money, people, time). Both to setup initially, to establish and then to continue operating.
  • flexible and adaptable approach to changing need and circumstances
  • evidence of impact on beneficiaries to drive financial sustainability and marketing
  • meeting a local need
  • utilising the right skills: volunteers, employees or paid-for services
  • working well with others (trustees, funders, partners, volunteers, beneficiaries, networks)
  • governance and compliance (insurances, safety, managing risk)

The critical success factors were considered by all to be mostly self-generated (i.e. within the organisation); with the exception of being adequately resourced where skills and funding can be found outside the group or project. It was also recognised there is a lot support and guidance available for governance and compliance but it still needs to be self-managed. Utilising the right skills can also be out-sourced.