Building Resilience: How Charities Can Become More Sustainable

  • Leadership
  • Charity Digital Support Programme
  • Digital Support
  • Trustee
  • 18-08-2021

Successful charities and non-profit organisations need passion, determination, leadership and hard work to achieve their goals. 

Sustainability in charities is about strategically planning for the future and allowing space for reactivity if and when required. In this article, we will discuss steps in which small charities can become more sustainable.

Build a scalable business strategy and figure out how you can achieve this financially...

Recent research by Cass Centre for Charity Effectiveness has shown that many charities exist in a survival mindset. Without sustainability, small charities are less likely to think on impact and a work-to-scale method. If you are a small charity, it is vital to prioritise and plan when building a sound financial model with a sustainable level of overheads and funding. When you are in the planning stage, it is crucial to carefully analyse the quality of work you are doing as a body, and ensure it has a solid income stream behind it. For example, only start new projects once you have established the work and funds to comfortably progress forward with it.

Put impact and income generation at the forefront of what you do...

Income is essential however it does not constitute an end in itself. Never lose sight of the passion for what you are trying to achieve in your organisation and stay focused on the desired outcomes. Without ample impact, it may be difficult to sustain income generation for fundraising activities and campaigns. Measuring and monitoring impact is crucial in understanding your Social Return on Investment (SROI) and other metrics.

Passion + Strategy = Impact...

Sustainability is a crucial component of any strategic plan, and so is the commitment and passion for the cause. These tremendously important elements create the foundation of each organisation and provide its unique offering and perspective in society. The passion and commitment should be intertwined within the overall strategy and the strategy itself should be designed about the impact you desire to make. 

Business and financial planning for the future...

A business plan is a comprehensive plan to outline key future objectives and goals, activities and actions to fulfil them. The plan also includes identifying the facilities, resources and people needed to achieve these tactics and whether it is possible. The business plan is supported by a financial plan to outline costs for all of the above. Budgeting makes it easier to control general outgoings and costs by implementing a method in which to measure them. 

83% of charities and nonprofit organisations are changing their services to offer them in the digital space. With the rise of the technology age and post-pandemic, it is no secret that digital will be an area to focus on when building a strategy. At Energise Technology, we are offering free digital support and advice on technology solutions for business continuity for charities and nonprofit organisations. If this is something that your organisation needs support with, please book a free discovery call today. We believe every charity, of any size, warrants support and solutions to navigate its way through challenging times. 

In conclusion, charities should prioritise and plan in every stage of their growth. Leadership succession planning, financial stability, adaptability and strategic planning are valuable areas to create a sustained approach. This will increase the sustainability and longevity of an organisation and ultimately achieve maximum impact and reach its goals. 

'Charities are the eyes, ears and conscience of society. They mobilise, they provide, they inspire, they advocate and they unite. Yet for them to continue to flourish, it is clear that they must be supported and promoted.' Stronger Charities for a Stronger Society, March 2017

Lucy Greenwell

Lucy Greenwell

Marketing Manager

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