Reading through the commentaries on this week’s Spring budget, it feels as if those in most need have not been acknowledged.  The calls from the voluntary sector to ensure the Universal Credit at least covers essential expenditure – food, household bills and travel – and for central government to increase funding for local authorities, in order for them to meet the real costs of charities delivering services, have been ignored.

For frontline charities this means that more people will be in need of their support, and that they will be ever more challenged to raise funds to respond.  There’s lots of information that we need to take on board from the budget, to understand in detail the impact on the people we support, but we also need to think about what we can do – and what we can’t.

At Cranfield Trust we can help charities to manage through change and to see beyond the immediate challenges they're facing.  Ensuring you have a business plan that it well understood across your team, being realistic about the future, and being ready to change your plan are all critical.  Having a strong plan as a baseline helps you to feel that you’re clear about your ambitions, and gives you the information you need to consider change.

Cash is king: if you don’t have a cashflow forecast, now’s the time to put one together.  Make sure it extends beyond the end of your financial year – and look at some different scenarios for income and expenditure.  Use a simple ‘red, amber, green’ income forecast to look at what you’re likely to raise, plotting this into your cashflow.

You may have little time, but having a mentor can be a lifeline – someone to talk to and rehearse decisions with can really make a difference to your thinking and wellbeing. 
It feels as if this budget won’t make life easier for anyone, including the leaders and managers of overstretched charities.  We have a wealth of information and resources for guidance and are always here to help, please get in touch.

Registered Charity No: 800072 | Scottish Charity No: SCO40299 | Company No: 2290789 | Telephone No: 01794 830338
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