Helena Wilkinson, Partner, Price Bailey LLP and Vice Chair, Institute for Chartered Accountants for England & Wales (ICAEW) Charity Committee, shares a few of her thoughts around challenges facing the voluntary sector, and how to overcome them.
One of the key challenges facing the voluntary sector and each charity in particular is understanding their financial risk profile and how to manage their financial resilience. Considering where their current income sources come from, how predictable and reliable they are and where the future lies is key to building their financial resilience and managing their finances.
Charities need to be innovative in their thinking, be prepared to take on new initiatives and new opportunities, this means that charities and their leaders need to keep abreast of new ideas and new ways of thinking, taking planned risks, developing their strategy and managing change.
There is immense pressure on charities to raise funds, few are able to generate predictable income streams. Charities need to manage and plan both increases and decreases in income, significant uncertainty over funds and actively solving their funding problems. Income diversification through new ways of generating income from partnerships and collaborations, funders, communities, trading and using volunteers to help deliver charitable services are some of the ways to face this challenge. Protecting and growing the charity’s reputation are equally as important in our culture where news spreads quickly and can be devastating to an organisation.
I look forward to sharing thoughts on financial sustainability, business planning and sharing best practice tips on building financial resilience into your organisation at the Inside Government conference 28th November this year.
To hear more from Helena, as well as other sector leaders including Nigel Davies, Head of Accountancy Services, Charity Commission and Caron Bradshaw, Chief Executive, Charity Finance Group, join us at the Improving Financial Management Within the Voluntary Sector 2018 forum in Central London on Wednesday 28th November.