Managing growth and change is challenging for all organisations; and charities and other not for profit entities are no different.
Change is not necessarily easy but over time, resources (financial and team), control and governance must keep pace and remain appropriate, if the organisation is to continue to meet its purposes efficiently and effectively.
There is often an evolution from founder-run entities to an organisation with paid employees which is a major cultural and organisational shift for charities and other entities. In its early stages an organisation may have a very small employee team with the trustees fulfilling other executive functions as time permits. Once an organisation is more established, greater resources and clearer board and executive structures are required, if the right level of control and capacity are to be achieved.
Managing the process of positive change
Other major “step changes” in an organisation’s existence might include acquiring permanent premises or taking on major new contracts. In each instance, care needs to be taken to ensure that not only can the immediate project be paid for and managed, but the overall governance and management infrastructure is sufficient to run a larger more complex organisation.
How a charity / not-for-profit entity can manage change
We have been working with charities and other not-for-profit entities both in the early stages of development and in a faster growth phase to help them with the process of change and ensure they can make the impact they desire.
A review of structures and governance will help to strengthen roles within the organisation, clarifying responsibilities between board and executive management. A review will also ensure the board has the right mix of experience and skills which are appropriate to the meet the demands of both regulation and the charity’s objectives.
A review of financial controls and processes gives the board confidence that there is an appropriate degree of oversight and segregation of duties in an organisation where team resources are limited.
To supplement the resources of the organisation our outsource team have taken over the back-office and administration for not for profit entities, including general accounting, Gift Aid compliance and payment of suppliers. As well as carrying out the bookkeeping through a cloud-based system, we give the executive and trustees access to key management information to help them monitor financial performance and achievements against budget. This is a cost-effective way for not for profit entities to manage growth as the level of input can be varied to meet the demand.