The year ahead for the charity sector

Published by Susan Robinson on 5 January 2023

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Welcome to 2023.

It is very difficult to be positive in what is a very challenging world. If I had to think of some New Year’s resolutions for the country, they would include.

  • Be nice to each other.
  • Have more patience.
  • Listen carefully to others.
  • Take responsibility for your own actions.

I was privileged to meet some very inspiring people during the judging of the Kent Charity Awards in 2022. Two comments in particular spring to mind.

’It is better to give than receive. It makes you happier.’’

‘’There is always someone else in a worse situation.’’

This attitude is the bedrock of the charity sector. As a sector, the New Year’s resolutions I mentioned above are a part of everyday life. Despite the pressures, we keep going, providing whatever help we can.

In 2021, I wrote that funding going forward would be tighter, and this has materialised in 2022 and going into 2023. Not only has government funding fallen, but also personal donations. Grant making bodies are trying to be more flexible in their grants, but the volume of applications has increased considerably. When making applications, make sure you only apply to those applicable to you. If you are based in Sussex don’t waste time putting in an application for a charity that only makes grants to charities in Manchester. Be clear about why you are requesting a grant, how it will be used, and the impact it will have.

Although not all funders look at applicant’s accounts, make sure your Trustees’ Report represents you in the best way possible, just in case.  I also wrote in 2021 about being open to radical suggestions. Have any such suggestions led you to change the way you operate? As trustees we tend to be cautious, but we can be open to well considered and explained ideas. A good business plan should be prepared which is open to challenge and stress testing.

My 2021 summary plans covered A-F (2022 was a difficult time for me) so here goes for 2023.

G – Goals. Set charity goals for 2023 and monitor them throughout the year.

H – Hear what your beneficiaries and staff need. Are you delivering what they want or what you think they want?

I – Impact.  Ensure what you are doing is having an impact on the lives of those you aim to help. Make sure this is also reported in your Trustees’ Report.

J – Joy. Recognise the pleasure we bring to our beneficiaries.

K – Kindness. Support one another in these challenging times.

L – Links. Working with other charities and organisations is not a sign of weakness but often a better way of getting things done.

M – Minutes. Difficult and challenging decisions may need to be made over the next 12 months. It is important to ensure that discussions, action points and decisions are clearly recorded. 2023 will be a challenge, but also an opportunity.

For more information on how we can support your charity, please get in touch with us here.

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