Top Key Considerations
1. Do your research
The first area that’s necessary to consider is the purpose of your charity. What is your drive? What is the issue and how do you intend your charity to help or change this? Make sure you think carefully about the scale of the problem and do your research into what (if anything) is already being done. If there are charities doing something similar, it will be harder to raise funds, as there are more charities already set up than there are donors to provide this funding.
You will also need to have at least 3 trustees for your charity, and bear in mind that your charity must have ‘charitable purposes’. These are purposes that help the public, for instance education, saving lives or animal welfare. The full list of purposes can be found on gov.uk (no-follow).
2. Reach out to organisations for funding
You’ll need to think of ways to encourage donations and draw support from others. This isn’t just support from friends and family, you should consider how you can draw support from bigger organisations and foundations with money in their pockets. Reaching out to charitable foundations and corporate funders can be a time-consuming process, but the end result is worth it to get your charity up and running.
If you’re struggling to find the right type of organisations for this, you can always reach out to those working in similar charities and ask what worked for them in the past. You can also visit websites such as Funding Central to look for suitable funders.
3. Consider the big picture
Cash flow, investment… make sure you understand the ins and outs of finance and your charity. When you work with a finance manager, they can translate finances into meaningful information for you to easily digest. This can then inform you to make wiser financial decisions moving forward.
You should also be aware of particular rules in place. For instance, if you earn less than £5000 a year, your charity can be an unregistered charity. It’s only when it exceeds £5000 a year that that your charity is required to be a registered charity. Once registered you must make certain financial details publicly available on request. It may be worth becoming a member of the NCVO, which provides help and guidance supporting voluntary organisations
4. Be strategic
It will be easier to raise funds if your target is larger. By being ambitious, you are showing potential funders that you have a big mission which is more likely to convince them of the cause. By aiming high you also have more opportunity to attract talent without having to spend too much on the day to day. To make a big change, there needs to be a substantial budget behind your charity to make it happen.
5. Get specialist payroll & HR help
Charities and not-for-profits often have complex payroll and staff structures. You might require a mixture of full time, part time or volunteers working for the charity, and each instance requires its own different payroll and onboarding process. Transparency and compliance are key to charity payroll
If you are campaigning more at certain times of year, it might be the case that you require a higher number of staff during these times, and then less so in between. This means irregular payslips, expenses payments for volunteers alongside the general day to day complexities of HR and payroll. By having a specialist payroll and HR team on your side, there’s no stress, allowing you to get on with the day to day running of your charity. Find out how payroll outsourcing can help ease the burden.
FMP are an NCVO Trusted Supplier to the charity sector.