29 April 2009

Creative thinking about income generation

Prompted by the information from Oxfordshire, I dug out some old notes on income generation - that I thought might be helpful. Below is a list of 'resource types' that all voluntary and public services have in some way. I have used the whimsical (and probably not very ethical) example of what a local church might do to generate income - to illustrate these resource types. I hasten to add that I am not advocating any of these methods at all! (One of the first rules of income generation is that whatever you do - has to accord with your ethical principles and legal parameters.) 
  • Staff - Knowledge & Creativity (Vicar offers counselling to local businesses)
  • Staff - Staff time (Choir Sings for Local Radio to create Christmas jingles)
  • Staff - As potential customers  (Send a list of parishioners to religious publisher)
  • Staff - Non work expertise (Church Warden's model making expertise to sell to local firm of architects)
  • Information - Patterns of performance & results.(Send popular hymns chosen for services to music publishers)
  • Information - About individual clients / users etc. (Send names of babies Christened to the local branch of Mothercare)
  • Physical Assets - Buildings (Use the Church steeple for a mobile phone mast)
  • Physical Assets - General Equipment (Loan church hall chairs to local hotel for big events)
  • Physical Assets - Specialist Equipment (Charge for access to register of births and deaths to people researching family trees)
  • Stakeholders - As potential customers (Church Commissioners to offer ethical financial advice)
  • Stakeholders - As potential sponsors or supporters (Local Firms advertising in church newsletter)
  • Stakeholders - As potential partners (advertise local education evening adult ed classes)
  • Profile - ‘Brand’ reputation (Give stamp of approval to a pine furniture manufacturer)
  • Profile - Access to media and public (Charge for inserts in the newsletter such as pizza delivery businesses)
  • Systems and services - Software (Sell petty cash system to local shops)
  • Systems and services - Expertise in how things are done (Sell skills at organising large events (the fete) to local businesses wanting celebrations)
  • Systems and services - ‘Piggy backing’ existing services (Arrange to tie up marriage services with local dressmaker)
  • Waste  ...is someone else’s supply...? (Church space on weekdays use for a Local nursery)

Further information:


  1. Good post on Creative thinking.

    karim - Positive thinking

  2. Came across a useful document produced by NCVO