Running a charity is much more complex than it might seem on the outside. Many people have a very simplistic view of how these organisations work, believing that they boil down to basically just collecting donations and doing with them as they wish. The reality is that a charity is under much stricter control than a regular organisation, and it’s held to much higher standards by regulating bodies. At the same time, keeping the organisation afloat requires intricate knowledge of the specific field you’re involved in, and the ability to prioritise.
Prioritize Issues Properly
No matter what kind of charity you’re planning to run, you will always find yourself juggling multiple issues that you can address. They might all seem worth addressing, but in most cases, you’re simply not going to have the time or resources for that. You have to ensure that you’re focusing on the right issues and that you have the actual capabilities to deal with them. Don’t just take on everything that seems relevant – that’s a fast track to ruins. It’s a good idea to have a mentor experienced in the field before you even start, as they will have the knowledge required to push you in the right direction. Especially during the period when your organisation is still small, when you should prioritise issues that you are confident in tackling.
The accounting practices required for a charity can be quite complex. Often, much more than what it takes to run a regular company’s books. You will likely lack the expertise required to keep things in order on that front internally. That’s why it’s almost mandatory that you go through an external accountant and let them handle things for you. More specifically, it should be an accountant that has experience with charities. Don’t leave this to chance because the penalties you might incur from filing your tax returns incorrectly can be quite damaging.
Last but not least, don’t forget about the technical side of things. Most charities work with outsourced IT support Kent or somewhere local – and it’s a good idea for you to look in that direction as well. Companies like Impreza IT are a good starting point. They provide IT support for charities as a specialised service, and they know how to handle a job like that. You can also rely on them to bring significant experience in the field to the table. This can matter quite a lot in the long run.
Other than that, make sure that you do everything by the books. This should go without saying, but the unfortunate truth nowadays is that some people see charities as an easy way to make money for themselves. You’ll quickly learn that this is far from the case once you’ve been doing that job yourself for some time. And you must do your best to respect the communities you’re helping, as well as those contributing to your charity and helping to keep things running. If any issues come up, transparency is key to resolving them as efficiently as possible.