in News September 13, 2017

Charity Governance, Finance and Resilience

Charity trustees need to be able to identify the charity’s purposes and plans,its resilience and quality of governance – and to be able to review these at regular intervals.

The Charity Commission has designed 15 questions to help charity trustees carry out such a review and decide what they need to focus on.

This week, we will be exploring:

  1. What effect is the current economic climate having on your charity and its activities?

The term ‘economic climate’ refers to the financial sustainability of a charity or a faith institution. It is apparent that no charity is immune to financial problems and there are occasions when a charity has had to close due to poor management of finances.

For example, in August 2015, Kids Company which provided support to deprived and vulnerable children, closed down due to poor financial sustainability. There have calls for radical changes in charity regulation to prevent a repeat of the “extraordinary catalogue of failures of governance and control” that led to the charity’s collapse.

When it comes to faith institutions, generally the main stakeholders are the local community and they rely on their donations to fund projects and initiatives as well as to uphold daily costs incurred.

However,the stability of the economy can be unpredictable and will disposable income decreasing, faith institutions need to consider alternative ways to generate income and increase a demand for their services whilst maintaining a good rapport with the community.

The Local community

Faith institutions have a duty to the wider community to fulfil the needs and demands of society. For example, institutions may offer English classes for those who want to improve their language skills.

English Classes

This initiative provides a sought after service to the community at their convenience, maintains a relationship  with the faith institution and may also be a source of income.

The International Centre for Integration and Cohesion along with The Strengthening Faith Institutions programme are currently working with Elatt to deliver ESOL classes within local faith institutions.

Tree planting

This is an effective way to bring people of all faiths together, grants received from the government to do so will also, more notably in city centres, may be affected by the economic state.

Uniting the community can lead to new members visiting faith institutions which in turn could see an increase in donations, in the long term. Overall, these projects stem from the needs of the community and resulting in increased funding is an added bonus.

The Greener City Fund is Sadiq Khan’s new fund to create and improve green spaces and encourage more tree planting in London.

The Mayor wants to make London the first National Park City with a target of making 50 per cent of the city green by 2050. To do this, we want to plant more trees, restore our rivers, create natural play-spaces for children and green routes to encourage walking and cycling.

Click here to find out more.

Providing food to the local community

The Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara in Gravesend set up Langar Week for their community as a way of offering food to people of all faiths. This is a great way to  bring in the local community and could amount to future donations.

Furthermore, some Gurdwaras and other faith institutions deliver catering for local businesses, another source of income which also encourages a positive relationship for the community. This shows faith institutions initiating ways to gain income;

Venue Hire

Faith institutions often have halls which can be used at venues for events, for example, weddings or meeting space for local business. The spaces offered are generally at a more reasonable rate than private venues which creates a demand for this service and can benefit the local community and cement their healthy ties with their faith institution.

Further points to consider:

  • If you are relying on a single source of income, consider looking at other sources of funding;

Click here to explore new funding opportunities.

  • Recruit volunteers with different skills;

Click here to read our article on how to support and manage volunteers.

  • Collaborate with others to provide skills, accommodation, equipment or increased buying power
  • Bid for public service delivery contracts
  • Take advantage of online services – for example banking
  • Consider particular risks to consider? For example:
  • increased (or reduced) demand for services, or changes in the type of services needed
  • reduced income from investments and savings
  • funding uncertainty

Click here to download our risk assessment and management policy template.

in News September 13, 2017