Nine hallmarks of a successful charity

While the outcome of the May General Election may have been a surprise for many, the ongoing austerity measures are a different story.  In my last blog, I considered some of the main challenges charities could face post-election, ‘horizon-scanning’ the potential issues on the minds of charity chief executives.  Some of these challenges, such as increased devolution and additional powers for the Charity Commission were announced in last month’s Queen’s Speech and so are already on the way to becoming a reality.  And as the Chancellor George Osborne announces even more stringent spending cuts, charities are also having to stretch their resources to the limit in order to meet the rising demand on their services.  Our recent annual survey, ‘Managing in the New Normal’, found that 33% of charities identified public spending cuts as the most important challenge facing their sector and 70% expect to see an increase in service demand over the next 12 months.  So as the pressure increases, what can charities do to be as efficient, effective and enterprising as they can be to support their beneficiaries now, and continue to do so successfully in the future?

We’ve identified nine hallmarks (clarity of strategy; good governance; maximising the competitive landscape; operational efficiency; demonstrating social impact; diversifying income generation; risk management; accurate management information; and surviving increased scrutiny) that we think single out what will make a charity a success.  Over the next nine days, I’ll be blogging on them all and will consider why each is an important contributory factor for a charity to continue to grow and develop.

A successful charity is one that recognises the importance of connecting strong leadership and business model planning to ensure continued sustainability, and knows that making the right internal and external choices is essential to succeed.  We think that these nine integrated hallmarks will help provide guidance, support and coherence that charities need for the challenges that lie ahead. 

Hallmarks of a successful charity_matrix

Ian Oakley-Smith | Director
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