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I have been lucky enough to work with – and on – some good boards in the charity sector. That may surprise you, given that trustees generally come in for a lot of flak – not least from their own CEOs and senior managers. The thing is, good boards don’t happen overnight. You achieve them with patience, care and forethought.
My sympathy to all organisations having to cope with flood damage after recent storms. I know what it feels like because I have been there. I was responsible for putting a recovery plan in operation for a charity when its offices and community centre suffered flooding just a few years ago.
Charities are no different to any other sector in that they are being challenged by the rise of digital. But their slowness to adapt means they face being left behind.
It once seemed that charities could do no wrong, but in recent years the misdemeanours of a high-profile few has put the whole sector on the back foot with the public.
Charities are often accused of frittering money on unnecessary ‘admin’. Are donors right to favour charities that have the lowest administration costs?
People complain that there seem to be hundreds of charities often working for the same cause. Surely the sector would be more efficient if there were fewer charities. . .
For all the good causes charities work on, donors will always choose to give to causes that appeal to them. But these are not necessarily the causes where there is the greatest need.
Does the work of charities paper over the cracks of serious issues and allow the state to escape its responsibilities?
There is a growing view that charities have no place in our modern world. We couldn’t agree less.
The first year after GDPR was introduced has been viewed by the ICO as a transition period. The softly-softly approach could all be about to change.
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