Communications Feature — 18 October 2017

Midwest Rural Enterprise (MRE), specialists in providing management support and training for third sector organisations, have launched of a new service to improve income streams from retailing.

L to R: Gill Hutchinson, Sue Fry and Suzy James, all  directors of MRE. Photograph by Helen Green Photography

Sue Fry, Director at MRE says “Local charities are seeing an increase in demand for their services at a time when the overall economic climate is becoming harder. The traditional ways of funding for charities, including winning tenders for providing local authority services, is becoming increasingly difficult and so many charities are having to dip into their reserves to continue to provide their much-needed services.”

“MRE directors and associates act as ‘critical friends’ for our customers “says Gill Hutchinson, a co-director “ We are very experienced in helping these organisations develop by  thinking about the wider opportunities for fundraising, which can include charging for some services, traditional fundraising and income generated from charity shops. Working with MRE and using the latest ideas, techniques and methodologies provides sustainable growth across the organisation. Our ethos to provide personal and professional development for all the staff means they grow in confidence as a result”.

As a not for profit organisation itself, the directors at MRE are very aware of the challenges in this sector and so we have expanded to provide help to increase returns from existing retail outlets or to start retailing for the first time. Jim Smith at the Worcester Association of carers recommends a retail review as a first step, “MRE’s Retail Review has been invaluable to our commercial ambitions with their prompt and detailed report of key issues, observations and recommendations, all achieved with diplomacy and professionalism”. These reviews dovetail well with our existing provision of evaluation of charitable projects, helping charities prove design and implement systems that calculate their social return on investment and our overall business advice.

Charity CEO’s and Trustees are welcome to contact MRE for a confidential discussion, simply email Sue Fry on suef@unlocking-enterrise.org.uk.

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