Sometimes when you are running a charity it feels hard just to keep going. You are kept busy finding the money to pay for your activities, managing your team, wrestling with statutory agencies that are not helping your beneficiary group, and many other priorities. The danger is that we get worn down, become fixed and defensive in our thinking, and don’t get excited enough about the opportunities that external changes offer us.
That’s why we put on our annual conference. NPC Ignites, which takes place tomorrow, is a chance to help people raise their eyes above their current battles, get out of any negative groove they might be stuck in, look ahead to ways that they can do more for the people they care about and—in NPC speak—improve their impact.
The world is changing fast, so we can’t stand still. We need to keep adapting, looking at trends coming down the track. And while many changes may feel like a threat to the way we do things, we need to get into a different mindset where we try to see how we can embrace change, ignite our ideas and improve our performance. At the same time, we need to do our best to influence some of the changes that are afoot—like the way government procures services from the sector.
Examples of opportunities to be welcomed are everywhere. From the changes in the governance of the UK, especially the new trend towards devolved city governance; to the upsurge in uses and capabilities of digital technologies that can transform our ability to search out real needs, establish what works and really connect with users and citizens; and on to new forms of finance that are starting to emerge and may allow us to finance ourselves in new ways.
At NPC Ignites we will explore all these issues in sessions that range from hearing from the inspirational Baroness Martha Lane Fox on the excitement of digital, to breakout sessions with charity leaders like Baroness Delyth Morgan CEO of Breast Cancer Now on the way a merger can give new life and energy to a cause, and to Andrew Barnett of Calouste Gulbenkian talking about the way charitable funders see the world.
We’re looking forward to an exciting day, to seeing the speakers engage in debates, and to hearing what our impressive list of participants have to say, too.
I look forward to seeing many of you tomorrow, and if you can’t be there I hope you will follow us on Twitter (via @NPCthinks and #NPCIgnites) and read our blogs afterwards.