Imagine there's no people...!
Updated: Mar 6
Ok, so I've tweaked John Lennon's original lyrics a bit...! With Giving Tuesday approaching I wanted to write about the key to charities making a real difference...
From my own experience of working with a small, in fact let's call it micro, local charity, for 8 years and networking with other small charities nearby, they can often be reasonably successful at securing funding for resources & equipment, venue hire and even larger items like minibuses!
However, when it comes to funding salaries, individuals, businesses and grant-funders alike can be reluctant to provide funding. As an accountant, I fully understand the reasons and hesitancy for this, however it also feels counter intuitive, especially for charities who specialise in interventions providing professional services, such as OT, physio, counselling and special needs teaching, to name a few examples. Many such micro charities are providing life-changing services in their local communities, relying on the passion, commitment and drive of a few people, making huge sacrifices in their own lives, to pursue a cause they believe in and make a difference.
“There is nothing more beautiful than someone who goes out of their way to make life beautiful for others.” M. Hale, Author
Many of these people are unpaid volunteers. If a micro charity has been fortunate enough to secure funding for salaries, it is likely that their employees are not paid for all the hours that they do, or at a rate of pay which is competitive with the public sector, let alone the private sector, despite professional qualifications and years of experience that they may have.
The journey for the charity doesn't end at securing funding for an employee, it then becomes a constant battle to maintain funding levels so that an employee's position can be guaranteed in coming years and the charity can maintain the services they provide.
Given how vital these people and the services they provide are, we should be more willing to honour their commitment by providing the financial support, which makes their employment viable.
It is the people working for micro charities that make a difference and make things happen. Without them to run services, the resources & equipment, the minibuses, etc. stand idle!