12th August 2020Guidance for charities entering the second half of 2020
As we enter the second half of 2020, it is important for charities to take stock of best practices, and to lay a strong foundation for any future uncertainties that Covid-19 may present. In the past few months, the pandemic has had a seismic impact on the sector, and our charity team has put together some top guidance of key points for charities evaluating and developing forward looking plans to consider.
- Detailed cash flow forecasts – take the time to create this and don’t forget to factor in the following points:
- Take a realistic view of income
- Factor in key pinch points
- Regular reporting – regular communications to trustees to discuss any variances to normal procedures is vital
- Reserves and income analysis – remember the following points when it comes to building out an analysis of your reserve income:
- Look at designated funds and release, if required
- If required, approach restricted funders to see if monies can be freed up for unrestricted activity
- Approach funders to see if funds can be received earlier than forecast
- Research new funding streams to overcome new shortfalls (for example, regular donors cancelling their direct debits)
- Review of expenditure – you may not think you need to do this, but it’s worth taking stock and ensuring there is a clear view of where efficiencies could be gained. We would recommend a review to include:
- Research government schemes – including Furlough and the impact on employees
- Ask whether certain projects or activities be put on hold
- Conduct an analysis of fixed costs and overheads
From an operational perspective, the following points are worth considering:
- Assess the capabilities of technology to undertake board and SMT meetings as usual
- Form an Emergency Team that meet daily to address immediate issues
- Review risk register in light of current events, to see whether risks previously mitigated are now significant and amend procedures accordingly. Don’t forget, this will then need to be reflected in the next Trustees report
- Identify where any experience is lacking within your organisation and seek professional advice if you need to
- Determine whether you are able to undertake your core activities or do these need to be amended, delivered differently or suspended
We hope that this provides a useful checklist to identify the issues you should consider in order to minimise impact and reassure stakeholders that you have strong plans in place.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch directly should you need any support or guidance during this time. Find out more about our work with charities and not-for-profit organisations here.