What’s the research about?

Charities Taking Charge: Transforming to Face a Changing World. New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) is a registered charity and independent think tank who advise charities, social enterprises, grant-makers, donors, and corporate clients to support the efforts, energy, and help make resources of charities go further.

This research follows an earlier piece of work Boldness in times of change, seeking a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing charities through in-depth interviews, focus groups and telephone interviews spanning organisations of different sizes, types and sectors, with charity chief executives. The full research report may be found here. http://www.thinknpc.org/publications/charities-taking-charge/

What did they find?

Those charities at the forefront of the sector are taking charge of the things that are within their power to change. They are focusing on achieving their mission in new and creative ways by:

Establishing an impact-focused strategy that has a clear focus on an organisation’s key mission and offers a way to prioritise activities or decisions. Putting mission first enables them to take a more networked approach, working with others to deliver greater collective impact.

  1. Building strong governance and leadership, which embraces risk, supports collaboration and new partnerships, and draws on a diversity of backgrounds and skills to unlock innovative thinking and good decision-making.
  2. Taking new approaches to existing relationships, rethinking and redefining the dynamic with both the state and with the public.
  3. Harnessing new networks and resources, including technology, new partnerships and models of doing business, and new ways of relating to communities and beneficiaries.

“But there is still more work to do. Charities need to be much more focused on how they can best deliver impact and work in a more networked way to do so, sharing power in new ways with others, including beneficiaries and communities. There is still a journey to go on to really understand the transformative power of digital and data, and make the most of it.”

So what?

There are several insights for us in this piece of research and it may be a helpful resource as we establish how we (SociaLink) fits into the sector.

  • Chances are the situation is the same here, certainly based on anecdotal information
    • Agencies that are able to provide outcomes evidence are more likely to be successful, particularly where they are relying on government funding