Monday, 4 January 2010

New Year, New Start II - The NFP and Charity Action Plan

You run or work for a small or medium sized charity (or even a large, multi-national charity), and the new year is a good opportunity to sit back abnd think "how could we be doing this better?" (whatever "this" is).

Now is the time, then, to examine the way that your charity is running and to make sure that the business side (and there is always a business side to any charity) is supporting the charitable aims, rather than consuming cash and thwarting them.

I suggest the following items as a small "action plan" - things to think through and discuss whether as a Trustee, Manager, Employee, Volunteer, or Supporter of a charity:
  • Governance
    • Is the charity being governed efficiently and is the charity supported by it's Trustees as much as ios possible?
  • The Trustees
    • Aer all the Trustees sure of what they are there to do?
    • Does everyone involved with the charity know the Trustees and do the Trustees know the people who do the work?
  • Meetings
    • Are meetings efficiently run and productive?
  • Strategy
    • Does the charity have a clear strategy which is well communicated to everyone?
  • Financial Control
    • Do the Trustees and Managers have all the financial information they need?
    • Are they confident of the financial security of the charity?
    • Have the Trustees (and anyone else who needs it) been offered training in understanding the numbers?
  • Fundraising
    • Is there a strategy?
    • Is it working?
    • Can the charity say what they will do with a donation - whether it is £2 or £20,000?
  • Risk Management
    • Have all the risks facing the charity - operational, financial, reputational etc - been considered and addressed in a systematic way?
  • Staff Management
    • Are staff trained and offered personal development opportunities?
  • Communications
    • Does everyone know what is going on?
    • Is good news celebrated?
Considering these questions - or at least some of these questions - is a really good start to the year.

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