Jargon, Jargon & More Jargon

Every area of life has its own jargon and the third sector (who?) is no different. Sometimes this is useful as it acts as a shorthand for everybody. But, if you don’t know then it can be confusing and this can put us off from becoming involved. So, in an attempt to bring a little light to the topic we have put together a few explanations and definitions.

Capital – used in funding it means items like goods, equipment or buildings.

Community Groups – usually smaller not-for-profit groups run by volunteers and small numbers of staff, if any.

Consortium – this is where a group of organizations come together to work in partnership on a project. It could be informal or have a written agreement.

Core Costs – used in funding it means the costs that your organization has to keep it going, for example rent, utilities, some salaries.

Evaluation – how you are going to look at what you do and see if it is working as well as it can.

Full Cost Recovery – used in funding it means including everything that goes into delivering your project. So this means including a portion of the rent, rates, utilities or manager’s time in the budget as well as a direct cost (volunteer expenses, equipment, food, sessional worker and so on. Not all funders will consider FCR.

GDPR – this stands for General Data Protection Regulations and is the latest law around how organizations collect, store and use information about people. It can appear complicated but for most organizations the rules and how to use them are simple.

Governing Documents – this is your rule book, your bible, the document which tells you how you operate. There are different words and types but they all do the same thing: constitution – usually for small groups, charities and charitable incorporated organizations, community interest companies; memorandum and articles of association – for companies limited by guarantee.

Holistic – all around, wrap around, looking at the whole person or problem rather than a particular aspect.

In-kind – used in funding it means non-money contributions, for example volunteer time, materials donated.

Inputs – this is the what you need to do what you do. The ingredients for your service or project. These could be; salaries; volunteer expenses; equipment; vehicle rental; venue rental; gas and electric for your premises; sessional workers.

Joined-up – acting together, different departments or organizations talking together and exchanging information.

Monitoring – this is the process where you keep track of what you are doing (how much – quantitative): how many sessions do you run? how many people do you help? What are the ages of the people you help? Where do they live? Monitoring also keeps track of the quality of your work: how many people were satisfied with what you did? How did it make them feel? Did it make life better for them?

Not-for-profit – an organization whose purpose is to help people and not to get money. This will includes social enterprises where the money they make in profit will go back into the community rather than to a manager or shareholder.

Outcomes – this is the change that you make when you do what you do. It means more of the good things and less of the bad things. Examples could be; an increase in physical activity; a reduction in people feeling lonely; fewer teenage pregnancies; a community is feeling more connected. Outcomes are important as funders want to know what changes your project will do, they need to have an idea of how what you do will make things better.

Outputs – this is what you do – your services, your delivery. This could be; advice sessions; lunch clubs; litter picking sessions; music lessons for people.

Revenue – used in funding it means the costs for items such as salaries, rent, insurance and so on rather than actual goods.

Service users – this is another term for your clients or customers – the people you help.

Third Sector – this is one of the many ways that we describe ourselves. It changes from time to time (who knows why?) and we have been the VS (voluntary and community sector and are nowadays VCSE (voluntary, community & social enterprise) Sector is used. It probably change again.

Voluntary Groups – usually larger not-for-profit groups that will employ staff but will usually have volunteers as well.

As you can see when these terms are explained they are quite simple and you will soon be throwing them into your everyday conversation. If you want to talk about any of the above then drop a line to me on 07910 360624 or colin@bluekeycic.org.uk.


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