Posts Categorized: Third Sector

Business isn’t a swear word

As a newly appointed chief executive in the third sector, I am struck by the frequency with which I am having the discussion about the reluctance of charities to identify themselves as businesses and adopt more businesslike attitudes to service delivery. In some areas the very mention of the word ‘business’ is tantamount to swearing.

Do charities really believe that their – in many cases long – history of doing good works will protect them from funding cuts, shifts in commissioning intentions, and the competitive market place? Will some charities really continue to hide behind a lack of data and inefficient resource management, shored up by good intentions and a mountain of thank-you cards in the hope that commissioners will continue to fund them? I’m pleased to say I have also spoken to many who aren’t. Read more on Business isn’t a swear word…

Charities must ask taxing questions of companies they do business with

According to the Institute of Business Ethics, corporate tax avoidance is now public enemy number one. In its most recent annual survey (2013) on attitudes towards corporate responsibility, the IBE found the public now ranked corporate tax avoidance above human rights, ecological degradation and sweatshops as the issue in most need of addressing. Read more on Charities must ask taxing questions of companies they do business with…

In praise of the sector’s unsung HR heroes

It’s great to see the interim results of this years’ Charity Pulse survey revealing that morale is on the up among charity workers. The last few years have been tough for the sector and this is the biggest uplift in morale we have seen since the annual staff satisfaction survey began in 2007.

Read more on In praise of the sector’s unsung HR heroes…

Times are tough now, but charities must plan for the long term

Many of us have talked a lot about how difficult it has been for our beneficiaries in the current financial climate, but the reality is that it’s been a tough time for charities too.

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Rise to the Budget challenges, but don’t forget why we’re here

As the Budget confirms, the age of austerity is well and truly here to stay, with the Chancellor promising £1 billion of cuts in public sector pay and pensions. The question facing charities is how to survive in such a stark climate – and how to continue to deliver their good work at a fraction of the cost. Read more on Rise to the Budget challenges, but don’t forget why we’re here…

Street fundraisers deserve our professional respect

The past four or five years have seen the emergence of a new generation of charity fundraiser, as the alumni of various face-to-face fundraising agencies assume positions in charity fundraising departments as direct marketing, corporate, community and individual fundraisers.

Read more on Street fundraisers deserve our professional respect…

Charities are missing out on brilliant staff

Since launching Charityworks in 2009, there are two conversations I’ve had so many times I feel like I could rehearse them in my sleep.

The first is with students and graduates: they tell me that we have made it incredibly hard to find a way into our sector, and that when they do get a foot in the door they often get stuck in entry level-roles, with little scope to make a real contribution.

Read more on Charities are missing out on brilliant staff…

Beware the social investment buzz

In the course of delivering workshops to voluntary organisations on various topics related to business development, the topic of social investment often comes up. When it does, I notice myself tightening a little, often wondering how the conversation will go, and preparing to feel a little apologetic about what I will go on to say. I expect some of this communicates itself to my audience. Read more on Beware the social investment buzz…

Read more on Beware the social investment buzz…

What I learnt as a food bank volunteer

Terry Walker, 45, is a drugs counsellor. Reliable, decent and hard working. He is more a giver than a taker, often engaging in voluntary work and helping out worthy causes. Today I met Terry for the first time, his mood was low, he was tearful, indecisive and suicidal. This has resulted in him losing his job and, due to changing government policies, he finds himself unable to claim benefits. Feeling confused and not knowing where to turn next, Terry is one of many people that seek support from St Ann’s Advice Centre in Nottingham. Founded over 20 years ago with the mission to provide support to the local community, the centre has become a vital support network to individuals like Terry. 

Read more on What I learnt as a food bank volunteer…

Drawing inspiration from Jane Bardsley

Jane Bardsley, head of major giving at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, lost her battle against cancer recently, but she will go on living in the hearts of the fundraisers who worked with her, for her and alongside her, those who followed her on twitter or followed her story through her beautifully written blogs, including for Third Sector.  Read more on Drawing inspiration from Jane Bardsley…

Read more on Drawing inspiration from Jane Bardsley…