Funding and functionality: the ongoing challenges of charity finance

The majority of charities have managed to come through a tough decade, if not unscathed, certainly unbowed but the potential hurdles they face over the next one are lining up. These include data protection rules, increased regulation of fundraising, renewed focus on governance standards and Brexit, to name but a few.

The sector has long proved its resilience and ability to get the job done on a shoestring. Charities face the perennial conundrum of needing to spend valuable and hard won money on what some perceive as unnecessary administration rather than directly on helping beneficiaries, even if the former offers a greater chance of the latter being more effective. Making this case to the public and government, and being in a position to make financial decisions more quickly, confidently and correctly, will be vital for that resilience to continue.

Therefore, charities need to consider whether their finance function is fit for purpose.

  • Do trustees have the right information, at the right time, to give their organisation the edge in the competition for funds?
  • Could organisations streamline processes and better utilise IT to provide quality business assistance rather than transactional processes?

It will never be realistic to reduce administration costs to zero but there are slight changes that can be made to keep them lower and improve outputs.

Our survey results show how the sector is reacting to new challenges and their thoughts on the future.

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