Charity begins at home – leading the way in transforming the sector

9th March 2018

Charities are having to navigate a complex and challenging landscape. On top of the everyday pressures of raising enough money to support the growing demand for services, charities are faced with changing regulation, funding cuts and the fallout from recent high-profile scandals.

For charities in the midst of this, it can feel like an attack from all sides. But there is also a real opportunity to transform the sector. Progressive charities can lead the way in improving standards and building more open relationships with supporters.

Through our work with many local and national charities, it’s clear that many are taking a proactive approach by adopting more business-like practices, improving governance and ensuring greater transparency. So what measures can charities put in place to ensure they are adapting effectively?

Operating more like a business can help charities to thrive. From having an effective business plan and robust governance in place, to proactively managing cashflow, there are processes which can improve the overall management of the charity, and help to spot any warning signs early so that action can be taken if required.

As well as keeping up to date with the latest codes of practice, it’s important to share your commitment to those standards with your supporters, to build confidence and trust. Although voluntary for some charities, registering with the new Fundraising Regulator shows support for improvement of the sector as a whole and demonstrates a progressive approach.  It is increasingly likely that donors, including individuals, corporate and government funders, will check that charities are compliant before making funding decisions in the future.

Having a formal, up-to-date, gift acceptance policy in place helps to manage risks associated with accepting or rejecting certain donations, and may mitigate against a situation such as seen with the Presidents Club Dinner. It also gives clarity about your charity’s values and can show a commitment to ethical fundraising.

Diversifying income streams is even more important with cutbacks to traditional funding sources. Exploring new opportunities, such as collaborating with other organisations, may help open new doors. The growth of digital technology has had a major influence on how people raise and give money to good causes. Exploring new innovations will enable charities to embrace the opportunities that technology can offer, both in working more efficiently and expanding fundraising opportunities.

Working with advisers who specialise in supporting charities will help ensure you have a robust approach to financial management. Outsourcing aspects such as financial admin and HR can ensure you have the right expertise in place at the right time, and free you up to concentrate on managing the organisation and attracting more donations.

If you would like to find out more about our specialist charity sector team, please contact me via email: