Charity, Community Interest Company, Social Enterprise, Community Group, Charitable Incorporated Organisation, Cooperative Society, Limited by Guarantee, Limited by Shares, Unincorporated, Trust ………. We could continue …..
These are the myriad types and formations of Not-for-Profit organisations, used to deliver social impact. Regardless of which type you are and of what your charitable aims and key objectives are for your organisation, taking the following steps will help you become more sustainable, by allowing you to better understand the business of your organisation, not just its mission.
STEP 1: Do you have a robust Business Plan, which identifies your key objectives, how they will be delivered, who will deliver them, by when and how much it will cost to do so?
STEP 2: Do you have the right Governance structure, which allows you to call upon the relevant skills and experiences of your Directors / Trustees when needed? Does your Board meet in a structured way and does it provide constructive challenge, advice, support and rigour to your organisation?
STEP 3: Do you have a mixture of Enterprise income and income from Grants and Trusts? Remember, longer-term grants are becoming harder to obtain and more organisations are now applying for them. Relying on mainly grants for anything but short projects is NOT sustainable.
STEP 4: Do you know if your Staff Skills and Capabilities actually match the needs of the organisation? Have you undertaken an analysis of this recently and do you recruit based on need? Is your staff & volunteer structure properly managed and Fit-for-purpose?
STEP 5: Do you really know what your Incoming & Outgoing Finances are? Can you fully articulate what the Overheads are for the organisation and can you forecast your financial pathway for the next 12 months and beyond? Do you have expertise in-house to create Management Accounts and relevant financial reports?
Remember, your amazing, wonderful, impactful and respected organisation, delivering fantastic results for your beneficiaries, will not continue unless the money comes in. Getting the balance right, with respect to income, staff, process and of course Business vs Not-for-profit is Essential for your success.