Love it or Lose it
Have you ever watched the TV Programme “Love It or List It”? The concept is one half of a couple want to stay in their house whilst the other wants to sell, but both agree the current house is not suitable for their current needs and hence needs upgrading.
When I think of charities the same concept can apply. You love the charity and what it is doing or you have fallen out of love because you are not achieving what you want to or it is getting increasingly hard to deliver what you want, especially in the current environment. So what do you do, look for something different, this could be ceasing or merging or you look to upgrade or change. Charities are evolving all the time. Introducing new technologies, reacting to client needs, but we don’t always recognise this when we are so involved. Change is not a big thing although it can be frightening. Reflecting on what we have already achieved can help reduce that fear. The make-overs on the TV programme are usually incredible although the budget is often exceeded. You need to be careful when introducing change that your financial due diligence is robust, but the results could be incredible.
If you are in the “love it” camp here are some suggestions to upgrade your charity.
- 1. Review your governing document. Is it suitable for the charity you are today? Are you adhering to your objectives? Do you have the correct board position and appropriate trustees? Consider a board skills audit.
- 2. Review your internal policies and procedures. Are they suitable for the charity you are today? Are they being adhered to? Is the risk register up to date? Are your financial procedures and systems robust enough? Several years ago we produced a checklist to help charities review this area. Even if you completed this previously, we would recommend you redo this to help identify areas of weakness.
- 3. Review your greatest assets – staff and volunteers. Are staff records up to date? Are appraisals being carried out and are they adequate. Are your communications with volunteers robust? Does the organisation have the right culture led from the top?
- 4. Review the services you provide. Are you delivering the services your beneficiaries want? Are you delivering them in the most appropriate way? Where you charge for a service, is this being set at the right level to cover costs? Is one service draining the organisation at the expense of other services?
These are only a few questions to ask yourself but form the basis to start a good review. Learn to “love” your charity again and do not “lose” it.
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