Charitable organizations play a vital role in society. But if you’re involved in running one, you’ll know that doing good deeds alone won’t keep your charity afloat. There are many challenges you’ll face in the UK, which could prevent you from providing your services to those in need. Here’s a guide to the most common issues and how you could deal with them.
Perhaps the most common problem faced by anyone involved in running a charity is income generation. As a non-profit by definition, your organization relies on various sources of funding, each with inherent flaws. Donations and fundraisers can be unpredictable. Government allocations are usually insufficient on their own, and seemingly decreasing each year.
Trimming operational costs and meeting tax obligations can be made easier with the services of accountants for charities. Corporate partnerships can present a steady source of revenue; working with independent artisans can give you products to sell to support your cause. Be creative and exhaustively explore these and other possible sources of income.
With the potential of Brexit looming, many charities face the loss of support from numerous EU sources. This can be disastrous, but your organization can prove invaluable in a post-Brexit world as an advocate for constructive change. No one can fully predict the consequences of our government’s actions and potential regulatory changes. Still, by taking steps now to work with the government and share your expertise in dealing with communities, you’ll establish your charity as a valuable partner in the years to come.
In the wake of the Oxfam Haiti allegations, public confidence in charities has been significantly eroded. Charities Aid Foundation research shows that nearly 60% of charity leaders believe it has negatively affected the sector. As an organization, even if you had nothing to do with that sort of wrongdoing, acknowledge the sector’s issue and rebuild trust with your support base. Lead the way in transparency initiatives; ensure secure payment transactions online, and provide regular communication on your team’s activities and allocation of funds.
Businesses have been quick to adapt to the emerging trends and latest opportunities afforded by innovations in technology. However effective IT systems and software solutions can be in the long run, they also tend to require a significant upfront cost. Many charities have thus been hesitant to take this step, and are missing out on the improvements to efficiency, record-keeping, and communications reach. Now might be the best time to bite the bullet, embrace new technology, and set up your organization for a better long-term outlook.
Just like a business needs motivated and qualified employees, your organization also runs on the efforts of volunteers. Attracting and retaining a pool of people who can get the job done on volunteer effort alone is a constant challenge. Try to tap under-utilized demographics such as retirees, or university students seeking experience. Some businesses can also offer incentives to their employees for volunteer work. Try to keep them engaged with feedback, bonding activities, and even some performance reviews – this can nudge them towards further improvement.
You might have started or joined a charitable organization because it’s a worthy cause, but once you get involved in the task of keeping things running, you’ll realize the scope of the challenge. Be prepared for these common issues you’ll face and survive the uncertain years to come.