365 Ways to Cut Costs

Emma De Vita reviews Alex Blyth's guide to reducing charity overheads

Charities are not known for their profligate spending - City banks they are not. But during these hard times, even the most careful third sector manager will be under pressure to cut costs. Easier said than done when you're already operating on a shoestring. Where do you start?

365 Ways to Cut Costs, a new book for squeezed charity managers, offers plenty of ideas. Author Alex Blyth suggests some eminently sensible ones, such as encouraging your staff to be cost-cutting minded.

But this is no fluffy read. There are some swingeing, tear-inducing cuts suggested here. How about eliminating your entire HR department, for example? Or axing some of your senior staff (they're the most expensive, after all)? If not your senior staff, what about your administrators?

"In today's age of computers, mobile phones and personal digital assistants, there is little need for administration staff," writes Blyth. And you can always replace them with volunteers - an option closed to private sector companies. "By making the most of this unique advantage, you may find that you cut your wage bill considerably," adds Blyth. Indeed - tough times call for tough decisions.

Emma De Vita is books editor of Management Today

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