Sharing the love

Published by Susan Robinson on 9 March 2023

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Another financial year is drawing to an end. It’s been another tough year (aren’t they all?) but it’s been very rewarding and your charity has done a lot of great work.

The budget for next year is almost complete and you are getting ready for the year ahead. But hang on a moment, before you move on, reflect on the past year and share the achievements you have made. Learn from the difficulties and possible failures. Discuss the performance with the team and let the world know what you have done. Don’t become another best kept secret.

One of the most important documents you can use to share the message is the Trustees’ Annual Report. You are required to explain what the charity has done during the year, its achievements and impact. Also you need to explain what you will be doing in the future. This report is often written hastily when the auditor or independent examiner is chasing it for the accounts. But it definitely deserves more attention. It is an important narrative of the charity’s activities and impact. Take care to sell the right story. The financials are important, but it is also about the narrative and hence can be started early. Before the previous year becomes a distant memory, get your thoughts down on paper. This will also help with the narrative and on your website, ensuring that this is kept up to date.

Your website is a window into the work of the charity and its ‘feel’. A badly presented website does not reflect well on the organisation.  The information presented should be up to date. A story from three years ago however interesting does not show what you are doing today – remember the world has changed a lot in the last three years. Is the link to make a donation working? Make a small donation and see if it operates easily and arrives at the charity. Some online giving programmes have left the market over the last few years. A full overhaul of a website maybe too expensive in the current environment but some small tweets can make a difference.  Make sure the home page says what you do and what you want to achieve.  Make sure the message is clear.

Your Trustee Report should link to the website promoting the same story, selling the charity in its best light. If you don’t love your story, no one else will, so start writing!

If you’re in need of support on any of the topics discussed, or would like to explore how we can help your organisation, please contact us today.

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