5 resource planning tips for charities

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Every organisation needs to plan and charities are no exception. Without careful coordination across key areas such as fundraising, lobbying and crisis management, vital resources can’t be utilised to maximise potential.

Resource planning tools are an easy way to get ahead of the game. Allowing charities to understand what’s going on where, both nationally and internationally, can help the organisation to focus on strengths and also identify weaknesses. It offers a bird’s eye view of what needs to be done, where everyone is and if there are any glitches in the system.

Unfortunately, as highlighted in the recent 2018 Charity Digital Skills report, many organisations within the sector are unable or unwilling to make the most of technical advancements.

The report found that a lack of digital strategy was hampering charities’ progress: 50% didn’t have one. 66% of charities were worried that they remain unprepared for the shift towards digital fundraising. Meanwhile, 57% cited skills and 52% lack of funding as the biggest barriers to getting more from digital.

With financial constraints looking to burden the charity sector, and the loss of funding from the EU set to hit UK charities hard thanks to Brexit, resource planning tools may seem an unnecessary, costly measure.

But if used correctly, such tools can provide a framework for charities to optimise resources and ultimately save money – here are five tips for getting the most out of resource planning tools.

Get the team on the same page

Streamlining communication across teams can be a challenge even with the advent of apps and technology to help. Being able to physically see what everyone else within your operation is doing saves time and ultimately money.

If senior managers can view the day’s/week’s/month’s objectives easily, efficiency and clarity can be bought to complicated sets of plans.

Understand milestones

Keeping on track of a project, especially a large one, can feel like sand slipping through your hands if you’re not on top of it. Management teams who provide a ‘lifecycle’ for each project, can flag up important milestones and monitor them.

When a target isn’t hit, it can be instantly seen and acted upon, meaning there’s no more waiting for something to go wrong.

Plan forward

Looking into the future is always tricky, especially when the day-to-day running of a charity can be busy and reactive. Seeing the ‘bigger picture’ is essential if objectives are to be achieved.

Allowing forward thinking and seeing what a specific campaign looks like in terms of staffing, travel and equipment can help to guarantee everything and everyone is where they need to be.

Get reporting right

Reporting is a key issue for many charities that need to maintain transparency with trustees, employees and fundraisers. Keeping them in the loop across global platforms can take up valuable hours, especially if different information has to be channelled to various groups.

Regular reports, sent instantly, are possible through resource planning tools, freeing up time and keeping all stakeholders in the loop.

Prepare your crisis management procedure

Humanitarian efforts and their challenges are vast and complex. No matter how well planned, reaction to any one catastrophe or event is a massive undertaking, with huge numbers of people and resources needing to be co-ordinated.

Planning in the broadest sense, in terms of knowing who’s on the ground, where the transport is and where the aid is coming from, will help ease the pressures when handling a volatile situation under stress.

This article was written by Ivar Veenpere, co-founder, Ganttic

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