Census: Questions and Answers

These are answers to real questions submitters have been asking. If you call with a question we’ll answer you; but we’ll also answer everyone else via this page.

Contents List (sorry, we can’t make this list into links)

  • Who are we really giving our data to here? Is it local government work by disguise?
  • How long have I got to complete this?
  • Can we do this by post? Can you send me a PDF instead?
  • All this ‘open data’ doesn’t look very human friendly?
  • Our group is not based in Oxfordshire, but does have a presence in Oxfordshire and works in the area. What to put?
  • We have a ‘parent’ group with some ‘child’ projects. Do you want the parent and its children, or just the parent?
  • Do you want transitory/ planned (ie, not running) projects included?
  • Do you just need one person from each organisation to complete this? What if we all do different things?
  • How can we check what you’ve got?
  • I’m confused about…
    • Type of Organisation
    • Average Annual Turnover
    • Funding Sources

Who are we really giving data to here? Is it local government work by disguise?

In short, the world. The open data will be available as a download from our website next year for anyone, anywhere, any time to use as they wish. (But it will be within the bounds of a Creative Commons license.) No, this isn’t local government work. OCVA is part-funded by local government for specific things. But we also receive our income from membership fees, associates, training delivery, service delivery and a range of other sources. (We’re trying to be as open as we can be about how each part of our work gets funded. You may have noticed this on our website.)

How long have I got to complete this?

The census is running until at least 31st October 2015 (and probably through to December). Once you start,  you can’t save your work and come back to it; so you might want to scan through for anything you need to find the answer to, make notes on those things, and come back when you’re ready.

Can we do this by post? Can you send me a PDF instead?

No. But you can call the office on 01865 251946 if you are having technical difficulty and a member of OCVA staff will try to help. However, we hope you will be able to complete it online if at all possible; it is just one form, and there is nothing too complicated about it. Could you get someone you know to help you?

All this ‘open data’ doesn’t look human friendly?

If you’ve been reading about how we will publish ‘open data’ from the census you may have concerns about how the table looks on the page about the open data. The table is just there to explain what is in our data; it isn’t how the data will look once published.

Once published, open data is usually fed into ‘a machine’. From there it tends to get used via a human-friendly interface (set of computer screens). That’s where the tool we are building comes in; the tool is what will be human-friendly (and we’ll work hard on that).

Our group is not based in Oxfordshire, but does have a presence in Oxfordshire and works in the area. What to put?

We’re just interested in what’s going on in Oxfordshire. Put the contact details for Oxfordshire, and answer the questions from an Oxfordshire-centric perspective (including number of employees and so on). You can indicate that this is for a local branch by putting (Oxfordshire) at the end of your group’s display name. For example if your group is called Something UK, you can call yourselves Something UK (Oxfordshire).

We have a parent group with some ‘child’ projects. Do you want the parents and the children, or just the parent? How do you make a distinction?

Yes. Anything you want to increase visibility for can go into the census. Existing projects with their own remit and description can be added as separate entries to your main ‘parent’ entry submission.

So, for a parent organisation you can just put the organisation name then fill out the census again separately for a child project; and call the child project by the “Parent Organisation Name (Child Project)”. For example, “OCVA (volunteer centre)”, or “Barnardos (Oxfordshire)”.

Do you want transitory or planned (not running) projects included?

No. We want to know about existing/ running groups and/or projects running in Oxfordshire. When the tool is up and running you’ll be able to look for local and/or applicable funders to apply to for funding for your project. They will add in the data about projects they have funded, and so your project will have visibility at that point.

Do you just need one person from each organisation to complete this? What if we all do different things?

It’s the organisation we are interested in. What you put should cover your organisation / group as a whole. If you don’t feel qualified to answer for the whole group perhaps someone else in your group should complete the census? Duplicate entries will be removed.

How can we check what you’ve got?

You’ll get a chance to check what we are sharing about you before the Data for Good Tool goes live next year. You’ll also get plenty of future chances to update us on the data we hold about you. (But we do want all groups to do the census now to gain as much knowledge as we can; as explained.) If you wish you can phone for a verbal summary. We’d prefer not to email or post you the details as we don’t have the staff resources.

I’m confused about…

Type of Organisation

Two of the categories in this question may be especially difficult to decide on.

  • Cooperative – could be for profit but may not be
  • Community Interest Company – a registered company that is not-for-profit (if limited by share, profits can be distributed in a limited way. If limited by guarantee any profits can not be distributed. Arguably both types are ‘not-for-profit’.)

Average Annual Turnover

‘Turnover’ is perhaps not a good word. (We didn’t choose the word in this case.) This should be your income for your last complete financial year. That could be a calendar year, a financial year, or something else; whatever dates your accounts are made up to constituting twelve months.

Funding Sources

Tick everything that applies. For example you might get grants from a specific authority for some work, and trust funding or some other kind of funding for other work (corporate donations or sponsorship). ‘Local funders’ is not an option for historical reasons to do with our database so you’ll have to include local funder money under corporate donations or sponsorship. (A rough idea is better than no idea at all.)