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Top challenges facing charities in 2020 & beyond
10 March 2020
In these unprecedented political and economic times, with Brexit, unpredictable social and economic changes and the ever growing threat of COVID-19, we look at the main challenges charities are faced with today and how they may overcome some of these to be able to continue to develop and grow.
There’s ever growing demand for the services of charities but unfortunately less funding available to help support them.
Here are some of the top issues affecting charities in 2020:
It may seem obvious, but maximising your income streams is vital. Are all of the properties and investments generating sufficient return for the charity? Have you got a contingency plan in place should an income stream dry up? Do you have a diverse range of income streams, so to avoid over-reliance on a main donor or income source, to avoid risk? What percentage of donors are set up on direct debit schemes?
It may be helpful to partner with other/larger organisations that share your vision and strategy in order to increase your reach and make the most of any economies of scale.
Rather than wait and see, look to be more proactive and collaborate with others, especially if you’re a smaller charity – strengthen your resources.
Implement a digital strategy to make certain you can have a voice in today’s environment and remain responsive and competitive. Ensure staff are fully trained and engaged. Can your shops use digital payment systems to help increase sales and donation rates? Do you have a mobile app for donations? Do you link with any other online platforms to encourage donations? Website presence is crucial along with a frequent social media programme, for increasing your brand presence and reaching potential donors.
Data and GDPR
Many charities have seen their databases shrink since the GDPR rules were tightened. In a similar way to businesses they have had to invest in modern, secure systems to store the data and ensure it’s up to date and accurate when the majority of the data will be personal. This has caused charities to postpone or delay significant campaigns and has therefore affected income and number of donors.
Engaging on other channels at different times, eg social media, events, networking, video and website, will help gain new followers and ensure that you don’t rely too much on e-marketing strategies.
Having the right team is essential but attracting and retaining key staff is getting harder when the finances are stretched for their pay and benefits. Although motivation remains a key driver you could also look at other ways of attracting good talent; flexible working, well-being programmes, career progression, discounts and rewards systems. Good staff retention and a happy workforce, will also help attract trustees, governors and volunteers.
There are lots of changes affecting charities but with help from your trusted advisors you can help anticipate, plan and overcome most of these challenges.
Our charity specialist team comprises not only accountants and advisors but also our HR and technology specialists to help support you in reaching your goals.