• Donation Update: $101,389 USD raised of $100,000 goal

Conflict between beneficiary needs & finite charity

Whether you are part of the board of trustees or the senior management team, you will inevitably sometimes face a difficult decision about how to make resources stretch to meet demands. Perhaps one springs to mind? Was it a negative process, leaving a bitter taste, or were you able to embrace the conflict and end up in a better place?

As the demand for services increases, there is often a resource constraint – usually in terms of finance or staff availability. Whilst for most corporate businesses, profit is the driving force, for a charity, decisions will be more complex.

  • As a charity, your driver has to be fulfilling your charitable purpose.
  • Is it most important that a service is financially viable?
  • Can you cut the staff time allocated and still deliver a safe and valuable service?
  • Is what the service users want and need more important afford to run the service?

The challenge is how to measure the contribution of one activity compared to that of another.

  • For trustees, you have a legal obligation to act in the best interests of the charity.
  • For the senior management team much closer to the ground.

One of the benefits of the governance structure of charities is that it can deliver an opportunity for clear thinking. Many people, whether staff or trustees, are involved in their charities because they have a real heart for their charitable cause. That can make decisions that have an impact on the ultimate beneficiaries are much harder to make.