Charities should always be looking proactively for ways to improve, even transform, their work. But added to that there is a pressing need to navigate this changing environment of austerity and rising demand, recent governance and fundraising scandals, and technological advancements. So are charities adapting, or floundering? And what more can be done to ensure the sector is prepared to deal with these pressures, and can increase its impact?
We set out to answer these questions through our State of the Sector research programme, which draws on new qualitative and quantitative research involving around 400 charity leaders. The aim was to gauge where charities are at in order to hold up a mirror to the sector. We also wanted to find examples of those charities leading the way, in order to inject new thinking into the sector about how charities can respond to these challenges.
Through this research, we found that many charities are getting bogged down by issues mostly out of their hands. But by working collaboratively, thinking creatively, and looking afresh at their relationships and resources, there’s an opportunity to flip the narrative.