Tiree Community Development Trust - Their Island, Their Future

By Carmen James

01 Mar 19

Tiree Community Development Trust (TCDT) formed in March 2006. It is owned and managed by Tiree’s community. They advocate a community-led approach to rural development; promoting sustainable economic, social and environmental outcomes for our island.

TCDT is a “young organisation” with an energetic and enthusiastic team. Effective communication is vital to help TCDT achieve its vision for Tiree’s community. They’re always looking for new and innovative ways to share our messages, to gather support and encourage feedback!

TCDT is governed by a board of Directors, resident to the Isle of Tiree. Their Directors are elected annually by TCDT members. Major projects include the installation of ‘Tilley’ - their community wind turbine; the creation and provision of a Tiree Broadband network; the refurbishment of Scarinish Pier to support their fishing sector; and ongoing work to upgrade Milton Harbor and the associated catch processing area. TCDT also provide a Community Ranger, Gaelic Development Officer and Youth Worker for the benefit of island residents and guests.

We put a couple of questions to Tiree Community Development Trust:  

1.    How did you discover Wonderful?

TCDT encountered Wonderful during an online search of crowdfunding platforms. One of our current community projects had reached a critical stage, and we were looking for a creative way to raise awareness and bridge the remaining funding gap.

2.    Did you have any initial reservations about the platform? If so, what are they and have they since been overcome?

When researching Wonderful, our only concern was that the platform’s offer seemed a little ‘too good to be true’ compared with other, similar sites. However, these initial reservations were quickly allayed by speaking to Wonderful’s volunteer telephone team.

As an additional note: Due to our project timescale, TCDT aimed to set our fundraising page up within quite a tight timeframe. Wonderful were very clear that the charity registration process could take up to 28-days; but we had hoped that we might be up and running a little quicker. In the event, it took ca. 3-weeks for our registration process to complete. This is worth keeping in mind if you hope to fundraise quickly: It’s best to plan ahead and factor in the time required for this registration process.

3.    What made you decide to become a Wonderful charity?

The ethos of the platform, its user-friendly layout and the excellent service provided by the volunteer team on the telephone were all major draws. As our project was specifically asking for the support of our island community and guests, we felt it was only right to work with an organisation that didn’t request a percentage from donations. In our case, we were happy to promote the campaign ourselves; all we required was an appropriate platform.

4.    How has Wonderful helped your charity in particular?

Wonderful have helped TCDT to fundraise creatively for a community project - whilst also offering us the opportunity to raise awareness of the sustainability issues faced by remote rural communities. Thus, not only have we been able to gather financial support; but space was allowed for an educational message to explain why our project is needed and the benefits it will deliver.

5.    Tell us about a particular appeal or fundraising page that is worthy of mention.

Tiree Community Development Trust’s current appeal is to raise funds for better recreational access infrastructure. We are a small island of less than 80km². Only 650 people live here year-round. Yet, in 2017, more than 27,000 people chose to visit us! Many guests come to Tiree to enjoy watersports and experience our sublime beaches. While guests play a vital role in supporting our rural economy and way of life, it is clear that increasing vehicle pressure must be carefully managed to safeguard our natural heritage. Sustainable beach access is vital to our remote rural economy. It improves our visitor experience and overall tourism offer; benefiting our wider community, island businesses, sporting events, traditional agriculture and threatened wildlife. Why not support us, and help Tiree Community Development Trust secure a sustainable future for our beautiful island?

6.    If we limited you to just three words to describe Wonderful, what would they be?

 Ethical. Helpful. Easy. 

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The Co-operative Bank are proud to be the main sponsorship partner of the Wonderful Organisation supporting charities to make a difference by ensuring 100% of donations go directly to doing good. Learn more about the Bank’s values and ethics.

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Our Sponsors support the platform in kind by providing access to commercial and professional services on a pro-bono basis; through staff secondment and access to volunteers; or by making financial contributions to cover our operating costs.

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What makes us wonderful?

We recognise the selfless commitment made by fundraisers who train for months to run marathons, face their fears by jumping out of aeroplanes or open their homes to the community for charity bakes and coffee mornings. We believe the charities they support should receive EVERY PENNY from their fundraising efforts.

We also believe that Gift Aid (a scheme enabling charities to reclaim tax on donations made by UK taxpayers) should be directed IN FULL to the charities. This is why the Wonderful Organisation does not generate profit (or even cover costs) by deducting money from fundraisers' sponsors or Gift Aid contributions.

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