What are Community Shares?
The term 'community shares' refers to withdrawable share capital; a form of share capital unique to co-operative and community benefit society legislation. This type of share capital can only be issued by certain groups.
The groups that can benefit are: co-operative societies, community benefit societies and charitable community benefit societies.
Community shares can save local shops and pubs, finance renewable energy schemes, transform community facilities, support local food growing, fund new football clubs, restore heritage buildings, and above all, build stronger, more vibrant, and independent communities.
Since 2009, almost a 100,000 people have invested over £100m to support 350 community businesses throughout the UK. You can watch this short animation to understand why more and more people are investing in community shares to support community enterprises.
Football clubs need money to grow, in particular to build better facilities to generate more money.
The problem is that clubs are limited in what cash they can raise from fundraising, donations, loans or grants. Too many of us know that relying on loans from individuals or companies can be very risky for the club. Enter community shares:
Community shares are a way of raising finance by offering shares, but in a secure, co-operative legal form. As opposed to ordinary shares in ordinary companies, they seek investment from people that are most interested in the long term success of the Club as a community asset – with the added bonus that it is cost effective way that avoids the red tape that a private Company would face. By giving your supporters and community the chance to invest in the Club it strengthens their connection with it, and as we have seen with FC United it can open you up to significant grant funding opportunities.
It’s the same model that helped Portsmouth supporters take control of their club, Supporter Owned Wrexham build a new shop and offices at the Racecourse Ground, and FC United of Manchester raise almost £2 million towards a new facility in Moston that will cost about £5.5 million. Outside of sport, more than 300 pubs and small shops which are now owned by their customers, many relying on community shares to raise the finance.
Watch the animated video below which will tell you all you need to know about Community Shares and how they can benefit both you and Darlington Football Club.
Alternatively, find out more about community shares based on whether you are an investor, enterprise or practitioner, by watching the comprehensive video below.