Community shares are an innovative method for voluntary organisations to engage their local communities and raise sustainable finance to provide new and better services. Individuals invest in the organisations through public share issues, which help voluntary groups do things like invest in community wind farms, set up community pubs or shops, or provide services like child or social care.
Organisations pay dividends to the shareholders, but with long-term and sustainable financial plans.
Carnegie UK formed a strategic partnership with Big Lottery Scotland in 2014 to deliver a three year accelerator programme for the use of community shares by Scottish communities and organisations.
The service, Community Shares Scotland, is support dozens of groups to issue their own shares, and provides guidance and seedcorn support to ensure share issues are successful and well managed.