Charity Finance Group is posing the difficult question of ‘Is Charity Becoming Irrelevant?’ at the CFG Large Charities Conference in September.
Heather Black, Managing Director of Economic Change CIC, will be speaking at the conference, discussing charities becoming social enterprises in order to survive and prosper in these challenging economic times.
Moving forward, an ongoing reliance on donations for financial sustainability could prove tricky, when overall trust in charities has fallen amongst the public over the last two years, according to the Charity Commission’s recently published ‘Public Trust and Confidence in Charities 2016’.
It outlines that there is a perceived lack of transparency and accountability about the proportion of donations spent on frontline services, and whether these contribute sufficiently enough to make an impact – this is swaying peoples’ willingness to give.
‘Across the public as a whole, three quarters agree that some fundraising methods make them feel uncomfortable and two thirds agree that charities spend too much of their funds on salary and administration.’
In response, the public are keen to explore other ways of supporting charities – one option being by buying products and services from them. For years, charities have been developing trading arms to sell commercial services and products, but is the transition to social enterprise going to become the norm, as it becomes a necessity for some charities to survive financially?
For some trustees and donors this doesn’t seem to sit right, and can be a controversial move. But do charities have a choice in today’s marketplace? Is the charity model still fit for this more ‘business-like’ future? These are the key questions for debate…
Developing a viable social enterprise model to generate profitable income, requires a robust feasibility study, a commercial business model, sufficient investment and skilled resources. Economic Change specialises in supporting charities to undertake this process.
There are a number of grants that can fund our work with charities, and we are an approved provider for Big Potential and Power to Change. To find out more, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.