New to running a charity?
We’re assuming that you have already considered the purpose of your charity, checked to see that there isn’t already a charity with similar charitable objects operating in your area, encouraged others to form a board or committee (at least two others who are not related) and have jointly chosen a structure, carefully chosen a name and drawn up your constitution.
Once you’ve decided a charity is the right way to make a difference, it’s time to prioritise the tasks required to develop
Developing legally, morally, ethically and constructively
Developing a charity once the ground work is done is all rather `chicken and egg’.
- Do you open a bank account before you’ve drawn up a finances policy or petty cash policy or signatories policy?
- Do you start recruiting helpers before you’ve drawn up a volunteer policy?
- Do you write a business strategy or plan before you start raising funds?
- Do you conduct a piece of research to provide an “evidence of need” statement to support funding applications before you’ve started providing services that you identified when forming your charity?
- Do you even write any policy before you’ve written a policies policy?
You might think that creating policies will create unnecessary delay and it’s more important to get going, but think of it this way, are you going to be able to recruit helpers if they don’t know what your mission, objectives and values are? Will potential volunteers help raise funds if they don’t know what those funds are for? Will they raise funds if they don’t know that the money they raise will be safe? A funding trust will be reluctant to invest in you if you don’t fit certain criteria, that criteria invariably includes proof that you are operating efficiently and legally with the correct policies in place.
Public support is extremely important and without your governing document, your policies and protocols in place you will have a much more difficult time persuading anyone you are trustworthy and worthy of their investment of time, energy and money.
The decisions are obviously yours and everything you need to develop your charity is available on the internet, however, you can tap into our experience with a one-off phone call or a package of support calls to help you prioritise and develop well into the future of your charity.
We can also provide templates of the policies you require.
How we can help
Ongoing Manager Mentoring
If you haven’t yet decided that forming a charity is definitely the route for you, refer to the notes below for links to more information which will help with your decision making.
The Charity Commission website has lots of information and an extensive list of documents to guide you. You can find help on everything from deciding whether a charity is for you, to how to get the right people with the right skills on your charity’s trustee board, and from regulations regarding fundraising to how to start employing people.
Listed below are links which we think could be useful at the very first stages of your development.
Useful Charity Commission Links
Community Interest Companies (CIC)
If you decide a charity isn’t the right structure for you, you may think a CIC is more appropriate; this link leads to lots of information.
We can help you to prioritise by talking through your options.
Free 30 minute phone call
Our telephone mentoring service can be to address one specific difficulty or query, or ongoing to design a strategy, project or other plan. Each call lasts an hour or so and various packages are also available.
Your investment will be for a listening ear, a sounding board, suggestions, strategies, opinions, but most of all being able to tap into 25 years experience of working in this environment.
Ali has the BA in Social Anthropology, the MA in Voluntary and Public Sectors: policy and process, and is an Institute of Fundraising graduate of Fundraising Management. She has also undertaken courses in:
Change management, Legal Responsibilities of Management Committees and all manner of other subject specific courses applicable to running charities. Read more
If between us we identify tasks which we can take over for you, then – depending on availability – we are happy to arrange a contract – by the hour, the day or by the project. Feel free to contact us to discuss how we can help you.
Please click to see the types of tasks we can accept and the difference we can make to your charity and your own mental well-being.
The FREE phone call service is for you to discuss anything relating to your charity.
It could be:
- Prioritising the steps necessary to operate your charity legally, ethically and productively
- Exploring opportunities for development
- Reviewing any aspect of your workload or the charity iteself