'Ensure charities are fit', funders warned

Funders should be more thorough when checking whether the charities they support are fit for purpose, a group of advisory bodies has warned.

After carrying out research, the Association of Charitable Foundations, the UK Workforce Hub and the Governance Hub have concluded that due diligence carried out by funders often overlooks governance, despite it being crucial to a charity’s viability.

“Our evidence shows that by ensuring provision for board support, strategic planning and people management, voluntary and community organisations will deliver services and projects more efficiently,” said Janet Fleming, head of the UK Workforce Hub.

The three organisations call for a better understanding of how governance affects a charity’s health and has issued guidance on how funders can go about assessing these issues.

Is it Seaworthy? Assessing and Funding the Capacity of Voluntary and Community Organisations is a foolproof guide to making sure funding is invested wisely.

“This guide will help funders understand exactly how to assess the capacity of an organisation,” said Jolanta Lasota, head of the Governance Hub.

The guide was launched yesterday at the ACF conference, where delegates were each given a free copy. The report is free to download or can be ordered for £5 from any of the participating organisations.

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