Donate Twitter Facebook

Being Viable, Valued and Visible

Being Viable, Valued and Visible

It’s nearly five years ago since the high profile charity “Kids Company” attracted headlines for all the wrong reasons, when it was forced to close after running out of funds and being unable to pay staff. The closure attracted widespread coverage at the time as the charity had enjoyed high level political support and received substantial public funding.  Various investigations followed to establish the causes of this spectacular collapse. The charity sector was keen to learn lessons about what had gone wrong in an organisation that had benefitted from such a high profile and was undoubtedly carrying out vital and innovative work to support vulnerable children.

One article that was written at the time caught our attention as it encapsulated the three big challenges of running any charitable organisation.  Scottish commentator Callum Monro explained that if a charity is not viable it cannot meet the need that it is designed to address. If it is not valued by service users it has no purpose for existence, and funders have to see the value if the work if they are to support it. Finally if it is not visible it will not attract beneficiaries and funders. Kids Company enjoyed national visibility beyond most charities’ wildest dreams, but behind the scenes all was not well and trustees failed to focus on the organisation’s viability. Whatever the size of the charity or voluntary organisation, it is the trustees or management committee members who hold this responsibility, and they must equip themselves to ensure their good cause is valued, visible and viable.

Part of our role at HARCVS is to ensure that our local voluntary and community groups are aware of what support is available for trustees, volunteers and staff. The easiest way to find out more and keep in touch is to sign up to our regular e bulletins. We also run local workshops and training which aim to help organisations raise their profile and become more visible.

On Monday 30th March between 6 – 8pm we will be opening the door for another of our tried and tested social media surgeries. This is a free advice session for community and voluntary groups, clubs, societies and small arts organisations who can find out how to use free web sites and services to organise activities, promote events, raise funds, collect feedback, recruit volunteers and more. This session take place at Harrogate Community House.

Small and local voluntary and community groups can really benefit from having a good basic website and an active presence via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  However more traditional methods of sharing news and information continue to be important, including word of mouth and local radio and newspapers. That’s why we write two monthly columns in the local paper and why it is great for our team to catch up with local news reporter Finola Hart from time to time. Times may be tough for both local charities and local newspapers but there are still lots of ways we can work together to keep our brilliant local good causes visible and ensure they remain viable and valued.

For more information on HARCVS and local voluntary and community groups visit the pages of our website, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.