After two years of thinking about short-term survival, we think it’s time charities starts looking ahead. To plan for the future and think about where you’d like to be in five, ten, or twenty years’ time.
You want your charity to be around for a long time. But if the pandemic showed us anything, it’s that a charity’s future isn’t always guaranteed. So here are our top tips to future-proof your charity and making sure you can continue to contribute to your cause for many years to come.
Boost your resilience
Across all industries and sectors, the more resilient businesses were the ones who adapted quickest in the face of COVID-related disruption and uncertainty. And this shows that building resilience should be high up the agenda for any charity wanting to secure greater success and longevity.
In the here and now, this will look like diversifying your revenue streams, securing as much profit as possible, and managing your expenses. All of which will make you a more stable, resilient business long-term.
You might want to explore opportunities to add online sales to supplement your revenue and maximise Gift Aid donations by embracing charity-specific technologies. Or reduce overheads by shifting your EPoS hardware and software to a monthly subscription.
Digitisation is a great way to future-proof your charity. But there are still a lot of organisations who are sceptical.
According to the Charity Digital Skills Report 2021, 60% of charities now have a digital strategy in place – up from 2020’s 49% – which is great news. But there’s still a large number who aren’t yet committing to their digital development.
Embracing all the ways technology can change your organisation for the better will be critical to ensuring your charity can meet the needs of your customers and cause. Not just in the here and now, but well into the future.
You might want to move towards real-time reporting that puts valuable information at your staff’s fingertips in seconds, not days. Or harness technology to improve fundraising efforts, improve brand visibility, and support other day-to-day operations.
As well as this, you want to keep your finger on the pulse. You want to stay open-minded to any other digital opportunities that might present themselves in the future.
Maintain flexible systems
The charity sector is constantly changing. Your needs today will likely look completely different in a year’s time. Which makes it essential to remain open and flexible.
Nothing will force you to stagnate quite like restrictive, outdated systems. Systems that present no opportunity to grow and adapt with the times. For example, you’re not going to want to completely overhaul your EPoS every time your organisation wants to add new features.
Instead, you want a flexible system that allows you to introduce new functionality as and when you need. You need an EPoS that grows with your stores. One that empowers you to trial new and innovative approaches, without facing the risk of wasting money and resources.
A strong and successful future isn’t a guarantee for any organisation. But there are steps you can take to future-proof your charity and overcome any challenges. By focusing on building resilience, embracing digital, and maintaining flexibility, you’ll take far greater control of your future success.
Nisyst’s HMRC-recognised CHARiotWeb will help your charity to continually grow and adapt to the times. With extra functionality to add as you grow, a monthly subscription to reduce overheads, and innovative, charity-specific tools and technologies, you can continue to evolve for years to come. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch today on 01204 706 000.