This section contains a glossary of terms and their meanings as used by both governments.
Citizens taking opportunities to become actively involved in defining and tackling the problems of their communities and improving their quality of life.
Describes the benefits a business or organisation provides in terms of its social and environmental impact to the community.
The transfer of land and/or building assets from statutory and other public agencies to independent, community based, not for profit organisations. This is focused on the contribution asset transfer can make to a wide range of social and economic policy objectives - at national, regional and local level.
Activities, resources and support that strengthen the skills, abilities and confidence of people and community groups to take effective action and leading roles in the development of their communities.
The renewal of civil society through the development of strong, active and empowered communities, in which people are able to do things for themselves, define the problems they face, and tackle them in partnership with public bodies. Civil renewal involves three essential elements: active citizenship, strengthened communities and partnership in meeting public needs.
Community anchor organisations
A community based organisation that: is controlled by local residents has the capacity to grow and coordinate action to meet the needs of the neighbourhood in a holistic way is committed to the involvement of all sections of their community and has widespread support from local people
Community buildings for hire or use by local residents. These range from purpose built community centres with various rooms and different activities to smaller local community clubrooms with one room. May be council managed or Independent /run by voluntary management committees.
Community cohesion describes a situation where:
- there is a common vision and a sense of belonging
- the diversity of people’s different backgrounds and circumstances is positively valued
- people from different backgrounds have similar life opportunities
- strong and positive relationships are being developed between people from different backgrounds in the workplace, in schools and within neighbourhoods.
A social enterprise or initiative that is run by and for the benefit of a community
Community ownership of assets
Community ownership and management of assets such as land, woodland, buildings and other infrastructure helps to develop strong and independent communities. Community ownership of assets enhances economic opportunities at a local level and can lead to communities becoming financially self sufficient (or at least less dependent on grant support) Assets which incorporate social and cultural activities, such as arts centres and village halls, are particularly important to community life.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR)
This concept is based on the belief that organisations have an obligation to consider the interests of customers, employees, shareholders, communities, and other ecological considerations in all aspects of their operations. This obligation is seen to extend beyond their statutory obligation to comply with legislation and generally manifests itself in a wide range of activities which are outwith those nomally associated with generating profits for the enterprise.
Development trusts are community-run organisations that:
- Are owned and managed by the local community
- Aim to achieve the sustainable regeneration of a community and therefore are concerned with the economic, social and environmental and cultural needs of their community
- Aim to generate income through trading activity that enables them to move away from dependency on grant support. All trading surpluses are principally reinvested in the organisation or community
- Are independent but seek to work in partnership with other private and public sector organizations
takes power from central government and gives it to local government and from local government down to local people, providing a critical role for individuals and neighbourhoods
A faith community is a community of people adhering to the same religion or belief system. These groups can contribute to the whole range of community involvement, from membership of strategic organisations to small-scale project work at neighbourhood level.
See Registered Social Landlords (RSLs)
The Land Reform (Scotland) Act was passed by the Scottish Parliament on 2003. It ended the historic legacy of feudal law and created a framework for responsible access to land and inland water and also for rural and crofting communities to have the right to buy land in their area.
Localism (or new localism)
Localism is a concept that involves devolving more power to local communities and, in the process, forging a modern relationship between the state, citizens and services.
There are three main elements that provide the foundation for new localism:
- building capacity at local level to deliver better services and provide effective community leadership
- devolving power to councils and giving additional freedom to meet local needs
- providing national standards and accountability for high quality services
The characteristics of patient capital fall somewhere between grants and loans. It is similar to a loan but is usually longer-term with interest and repayment holidays. In certain circumstances only a percentage of the loan may need to be repaid.
This is the process used by the public sector to obtain goods, services and capital projects from third parties. Social enterprises are increasingly accessing contract or service level agreement opportunities with local authorities to deliver public services whilst adding value through the creation of employment for local people and the re investment of any surpluses in the community.
This term is used to refer to the lasting transformation for the better of places and communities. At one time mostly related to environmental improvements but now extending to economic, social and environmental.
Registered social landlords (RSLs)
In Scotland a registered social landlord is a landlord registered with Communities Scotland. Their main purpose is to let housing for people in need. Most are housing associations, but there are also trusts, co-operatives and companies. Any surplus is ploughed back into the organisation to maintain existing homes and to help finance new ones. RSLs are increasingly adopting a wider role in community regeneration and promoting social inclusion.
Social Capital has been defined as "features of social life -networks, norms and trust - that enable people to act together more effectively to pursue shared objectives."
The social economy is made up of those organisations from the voluntary and community sector that generate income through trading. Social economy organisations are independent of the state, have primarily social objectives and their surpluses are reinvested for that purpose.
A social enterprise is a business that trades in the market for:
- a clear social, community or environmental purpose
- deliver their social purpose mainly through trading
- profit is invested in business or the community and not distributed to shareholders.
Social firms are businesses developed to provide employment opportunities for people with a disability or other disadvantage in the labour market.
Social investment is used to describe investment that is focused on social return rather than financial return. It is a relatively new term but is becoming better known for describing the type of investment organisations are looking for as they move away from grant aid.
Trading between non-profit distributing organisations such as social enterprises and voluntary organisations.
Another name by which the non-profit, or voluntary sector is known - government (public sector) and business ( private sector) being the other two sectors).
Includes organisations that:
do not distribute profits;for private gain ;
are independent/are managed by voluntary management committees.
Many voluntary organisations are registered charities
Activities by registered social landlords, over and above housing, which help to improve the economic, social and environmental conditions of individuals and communities.