In the UK community interest companies are registered non-profit organisations.
In order to form a CIC the regulatory body must be satisfied that the company's main reason for existing is to serve a community, in our case this is a worldwide online community of Artists and Artisan Makers.
As a CIC we're able to apply for grants and funding from official bodies and legally allowed to collect donations. Currently our income is generated by offering subscriptions and receiving donations via our page at buymeacoffee.com and selling stall space to traders at our Artisan Markets.
The 'non-profit' element of non-profit organisations is often misinterpreted. The company is allowed to make a profit but the profit has to be used to serve the community or expand the company's activities. What we do with any profits we generate is explained in the following document.
There are links at the bottom of this page with more detailed explanations about community interest companies.
This is an exact copy of NOT ON AMAZON CIC's community interest statement. Our company number is 13795934.
COMPANY NAME IN FULL: NOT ON AMAZON CIC
SECTION A: COMMUNITY INTEREST STATEMENT – BENEFICIARIES.
We/I, the undersigned, declare that the company will carry on its activities for the benefit of the community, or a section of the community. [Insert a short description of the community, or section of the community, which it is intended that the company will benefit below ]
THE COMPANY’S ACTIVITIES WILL PROVIDE BENEFIT TO ...
This company's activities will benefit an internet based, national community of creative artists and craftspersons as well as a network of regional groups of creative artists and craftspersons and their local communities.
Our main objective is to provide a low-cost digital platform which enables independently owned businesses to reach more customers, thus enabling them to generate more income.
Our secondary objective is to establish a national network of not-for-profit art galleries and community spaces. These physical spaces will enable members of our online community to connect with each other directly, sell their work and organise non-commercial community projects.
COMMUNITY INTEREST STATEMENT – ACTIVITIES & RELATED BENEFIT.
Please indicate how it is proposed that the company’s activities will benefit the community, or a section of the community. Please provide as much detail as possible to enable the CIC Regulator to make an informed decision about whether your proposed company is eligible to become a community interest company. It would be useful if you were to explain how you think your company will be different from a commercial company providing similar services or products for individual or personal gain.
ACTIVITIES (TELL US HERE WHAT THE COMPANY IS BEING SET UP TO DO)
NOT ON AMAZON provides a low-cost digital platform which enables users to reach potential customers for their businesses.
Unlike the majority of e-commerce platforms we don't charge our members any commission, they pay a flat rate for advertising with us regardless of their sales income
We provide a highly interactive online space where sellers, customers and browsers are all able to participate in conversations and debates with large numbers of other people.
We're building a physical gallery to display the work of our members which will also serve as a community space where people can come to share ideas and information, and take part in workshops and group activities.
We organise markets and regional events that we are able to publicise online. These events provide a way to connect our digital community with its real world counterparts.
We will provide funding for Art and Community projects which are non-commercial ventures.
Our criteria for allocating funding will be as follows:
Applications must include a detailed breakdown of how the money they’re requesting will be used.
Upon completion of their project successful applicants will be contractually obliged to provide detailed records of how their funding was used to ensure this complies with their originally stated intentions.
HOW WILL THE ACTIVITY BENEFIT THE COMMUNITY?
The online community and regional groups will benefit from our activities in a number of different ways:
Independently owned businesses are able to sell their products online in a fair and ethical way which allows complete control of their financial transactions with no third party involved.
Our digital platform provides a lively interactive space which is highly valued by our members for its sense of community.
Our customers are able to save money by buying directly from small scale manufacturers, often in their own area.
The gallery/ community space will be something unique for the Lydbrook area of Gloucestershire and will hopefully bring visitors from further afield which will help the local economy as well as its primary users.
The regional markets and events will not only benefit our community but they will also help strengthen local business communities.
By receiving funding for non-commercial ventures, artists and community organisers will benefit by being able to undertake projects they would otherwise be unable to.
Anyone receiving this funding will be contractually obliged to provide detailed records of how the money was used to ensure this complies with their originally stated intentions.
IF THE COMPANY MAKES ANY SURPLUS IT WILL BE USED FOR…
The company’s break-even point will be set at £45,000.
Any surplus generated by our operations will be used for:
Reinvesting in the business, to help us continue to extend our online reach and grow our community.
Establishing more galleries and community spaces in different regions.
Funding non-commercial Art and Community projects as explained in the ‘Activities’ section.