Monday, 17 November 2008

Financial Sustainability

If you're wondering why there hasn't been much posting activity for the past week or so, it's not because I've hit writer's block. The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity, between deadlines at work and trying everything possible to ward off insolvency for one of the charities I'm involved with. I'll put up some of the things we've learnt once things ease up. Hopefully find out this week if my efforts have come to anything.

The credit crunch is playing its part here, and safe bets suddenly look like big risks when there's no margin for error. The real challenge has been trying to create viable commercial revenue streams for a charity that traditionally hasn't had any. A lot of lateral thinking later, we might be getting somewhere. The difficulties lie in financial modeling for a space that hasn't really got much else to use as reference.

Moving a charity from being grant dependent to becoming financially sustainable requires more than just identifying revenue streams. It requires a change of focus and ways of working. It requires new management skills, and new engagement skills. Dealing with corporations is a whole different exercise to dealing with government or third sector bodies. Lots of challenges but exciting nevertheless. Where there's a will there's a way... and in this case there definitely is a will!!

Watch this space for an overview of what I'm learning about the realities of financial sustainability and business remodelling in the third sector...