With just one week remaining until the turn of the New Year, Charity Hub East has been considering what will be the critical areas of consideration for third sector professionals in 2018.
Here’s our top six insights, to help you and your organisation get New Year-ready.
It’s time to put down the mince pie and read this first….
DATA PROTECTION AND GDPR ARRIVAL
Arguably, we’re starting with the most obvious here, given that so many of you will have heard about the dawning of GDPR.
This shift has significant bearing for all businesses, but very much so for the charity sector.
It is particularly relevant if you rely heavily on direct marketing to reach potential donors and supporters.
It’s imperative that you have carried out the necessary checks (and double checks, and checks in triplicate!) to ensure that those you are targeting are happy to receive your communication.
E-mail will of course remain a valuable communication tool for organisations to send key messages, but from early next year, there will be NO lenience if you are found to be in breach of data protection stipulations.
If you haven’t yet participated in a workshop around this subject, contact the Charity Hub East team for details of sessions still running in East Anglia. We’ll also have legal experts providing an update at Charity Hub East’s conference.
FUNDRAISING AND STRAINED PURSES
There’s no getting away from it. The last few years of political uncertainty, economic pressures, and impact on households UK-wide, has meant that fundraising has been far tougher for all.
Combine that with the reality of the public sector providing less services, and the message being heard time and again from charity leaders is ‘We’re asked to do more for less with every month that passes…’.
We hear the pain.
Sadly, we can’t promise that 2018 will see this disappear.
Yes, you’ll have to be thinking smarter about your fundraising tactics, and you’ll be wanting to shout much much louder about the offer you provide in the charitable sector – to ensure your target audience is hearing the ‘need’ for more funds.
Our expert forecasters say they’re sure we’ll also see more charities wanting to diversify – offering commercial streams like training and the like – so we fully expect more news of such development across the region’s organisations.
Here at Charity Hub East, we urge you to get full legal advice around diversification intentions, as you can find yourself in a tricky situation concerning taxation if things are not handled correctly.
Heard of the PACAC enquiry?
If not, it may be worth looking at the consultative report issued last year.
This review centred on a number of areas which it deemed unacceptable or below-par in the charity sector, and much of this levied some criticism at trustees.
What the review found was that a lot of trustees just don’t have full oversight of the organisation of which they are a part.
If we could encourage you to pick up on one element of training in 2018, it would be to introduce frequent and robust trustee training, and to be exceptionally diligent about recruitment.
Yes, we all understand what a pressure it is if you’re looking for trustees and consider yourself rather ‘desperate’ to have extra hands and brains, but you really do need to think through the skills that person brings to the table…and indeed, whether you’re prepared to listen to their guidance and specialism (if they have one).
If you’d like to know more about Trustee Training workshops, do get in touch with Charity Hub East and we can signpost you.
COLLABORATION IS KEY
Our charity-specialist contacts across the region tell us they see representatives from all kinds of causes, social enterprises and CIO’s walking through their door every week.
What they note, from looking at the causes operating in East Anglia, is that there are often a great many who are carrying out the same (or extremely similar) services, share the same ethos, or are going through tears and tantrums which others have been through too.
We’re a big believer in collaboration, and we hope that more charities will use 2018 to look less at hiding their assets and initiatives from other causes they view to be ‘opposition’, and instead, discussing what might be even more achievable and beneficial – TOGETHER.
It’s one reason we’ve been so pleased to push Charity Hub East live, and to know the conference is set for early 2018.
This provides even more of a platform in East Anglia for charities to collaborate, but also for partnerships to form with commercial businesses….all for the greater good of the charities you’re charged with running.
SCRUTINY LIKE NEVER BEFORE
We’re ending on something of a note of general ‘warning’.
It’s not to scare or scorn, but just to highlight how much more vigilant we feel all causes and charities will need to be in the year ahead.
The enquiries and highly public debates we’ve seen in the sector over the last few years have meant that there’s no wriggle room for neglecting your responsibilities or acting inappropriately.
This really will be the year to have all your t’s crossed and I’s dotted, to ensure you stay fully on the right side of the law, and that you’re performing with the best moral intentions.
We certainly hope that insight is a valuable one for you and your charity.
We look forward to providing more updates in 2018, and to seeing you at the Charity Hub East conference in the Spring.
If you have any specific queries, or would like to arrange an appointment, please let the Charity Hub East team know, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.