I'm up on my soap box... core costs matter!
In October 2018, Paul Streets, the CEO at Lloyds Bank Foundation spoke at a conference and suggested that charities that don’t ask for core funds, deserved to go bust.
It was a dramatic way to make a point, but I personally think it was a point worth making.
Give me one iota of a chance, I will be up on my soap-box about the importance of taking a full cost recovery approach to income generation. I will rant and rave and wave my hands wildly about how important it is that charities understand what it truly costs to run their activities or programmes. I will create diagrams and made up budgets to show how it can and should work. I will shout it from the roof tops; “Don’t be ashamed of what it costs to be brilliant!”
And that’s the point – brilliant organisations don’t run on a shoe-string. Brilliant organisations which really and truly support their beneficiaries have strong management, efficient financial processes, amazing monitoring and evaluation, and highly effective governance. And these things aren’t only incredibly important – but they cost money to do well.
So just like Paul Streets – I believe it’s up to every single fundraiser and charity in the UK to make the case just as loud. Be proud of your amazing-ness. Be honest about what it costs and tell the funder why that matters.
If you hide your true costs, or stick in a notional 10% for good measure, then maybe you do deserve to go under…
Ps. If you haven’t seen this amazing TED talk from Dan Pallotta, please give it a watch. He makes the point above in a powerful and eloquent manner! https://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pallotta_the_way_we_think_about_charity_is_dead_wrong?language=en