To ensure that your charity is run as effectively as possible, you should think of it as a business. An effective charity has a clear mission statement, with its purpose set out in its governing document. The activities that you undertake in support of your charity’s aims should closely relate to its purpose, which should be regularly reviewed.
Like a business, a charity needs an established brand identity, which should be protected in all aspects of its work. The most vulnerable beneficiaries need to be protected from exploitation or abuse and so this risk, as well as all other risks associated with running a business, should be identified and adequately managed. If it would be in the charity’s best interests, consideration should be given to partnerships, collaborations and mergers with other charities. The affairs of the charity should be transparent and ethical, with a robust complaints procedure in place to ensure fairness. Communications with the media and other organisations should be timely and accurate.
Successful charities constantly strive to improve the work they do. It is important to learn from mistakes as well as achievements, to set targets and measure progress, as well as to adapt to market changes.
The effective management of cash flow is also key. Fundraising strategies should be regularly reviewed and plans implemented to ensure that the charity is able to raise the funds that it needs from appropriate sources. Tax advice should be sought where appropriate.
Your trustees should have a range of skills and experience, and their number should be commensurate with the size of your charity. Each trustee needs to be aware of the rights and obligations associated with their status. Roles should be clearly defined and powers exercised responsibly. Any conflicts of interest between the charity and a trustee must be identified and dealt with appropriately. Compliance with charity law is paramount and legal advice should be sought where appropriate.
We can provide comprehensive legal and tax advice for your charity.