A 2022 ‘To-do’ list for charity leaders
With the madness of Covid-19 now receding, the time has come for charity leaders to consider what 2022 will have in store for their organisations, and to evaluate and formulate how to get ready for it?
The pandemic brought immediate changes to the way in which organisations could operate, and some of these proved to be a blessing in disguise for many, as they were able to cut-out some loss-making services, and identify different ways of operating going forward. These may not have been possible, or felt to be required, before Covid-19 struck.
The Charity sector is evolving all the time, but we don’t always have the capacity to focus on long-standing procedures and activities, and to step back and think, ‘could we be doing this in a better way?’
In a crisis, you can either stick your head in the sand, or you can open your eyes and look for opportunities.
Whilst at the time home working was a new and potentially daunting adventure for a lot of us, the reality has been that most people appear to have embraced the ‘new normal’ way of hybrid working, as offices began to re-open post pandemic.
This trend is set to continue into 2022 and beyond, as charities reap the cost saving benefits that come with this (less requirement for office space, reduced utilities costs etc.), plus it appears that staff are seemingly now demanding such an approach to work, after the realisation of the work life balance benefits brought about by this.
Charities need to have the changing landscape at the forefront of their minds and to be aware of the barriers and opportunities that come with it. All the while recognising that some beneficiaries will need support at all times of the day.
Retention and Recruitment
The possibility of a flexible working style is more important still given the staffing shortages that the sector is facing post-pandemic. It’s reported that at present there are only 24 job candidates for each position, down from 100 candidates back in 2019.
Burnout from the pandemic, Brexit and the history of lower remuneration packages have all contributed to a battle to both retain and recruit employees. As well as re-evaluating pay, charities need to focus on mental health and wellbeing support for their staff members.
Charities need to ensure that their records are up-to-date and accurate, ahead of a potential ‘knock-on-the-door’ from the authorities, and an increase in the number of challenges made by donors, beneficiaries, and the media. The sector is facing greater challenges, as we have seen with the recent government group set up to investigate the National Trust.
The involvement of the not-for-profit sector in the ‘levelling up’ agenda proposed by the Government naturally comes with more scrutiny surrounding both governance and transparency, but to enable this one could argue that greater investment is first needed in the Charity Commission itself, as well as the wider sector.
As we move into 2022, charities will see ever-increasing competition for funding, and so need to keep on top of ensuring that internal fundraising strategies are up-to-date and the best that they can be. This may involve implementing new approaches to fundraising and thinking outside of the box.
Charities to-do lists continue to grow, but with the support of strong and inspiring trustee boards, and the hands-on determination of management teams, each of the above areas can be incorporated into your organisations strategic discussions, and help the Charity march forward into the future.
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