Charities worried about how to show VFM

by Kevin Reed

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14 Nov 2012

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CHARITIES ARE WORRIED about how to demonstrate value to a variety of stakeholders.

Different stakeholders, such as funders and beneficiaries, often want different things from a charity, and this is proving difficult to manage, according to a report with 200 charities by PKF and the Charity Finance Group (CFG).

Richard Weighell, a partner at PKF and author of the report, said: "They face increasing demand from their services against a backdrop of generally reduced resource – and, not surprisingly, some are able to square this circle more effectively than others.

"Although there are no easy answers, the work we are doing in this area indicates that there are a number of options that charities can explore, such as improving their investment management procedures and engaging more effectively with volunteers."

Finding time to get more from resources was a key factor for three quarters of respondents. More than half identified a lack of funds to invest in skills as a risk factor. A fifth of charities were unsure about what incentives to provide to staff – but half said that the main incentive to boost performance was that of being valued and thanked by the charity.

Almost 80% use tenders and forecasts to ensure value for money, and many are assessing support costs and property needs. However, rising costs are a concern for 63%.

Some 62% feel their property portfolio meets their current needs – although running costs, quality and capacity pose challenges. However, only 36% expect it will still do in five years' time.

Brand, logo and partnerships are highly valued by charities, with almost half recognising the need to maintain relationships and the reputation they have built.

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