We often hear about charities facing closure or cutbacks in service delivery, we’ve seen organizations have funding cut back or cut completely, it’s nothing new and will continue.
Yes, there may have been more incidences of this in recent years. Why – that’s the million dollar or perhaps only $64,000 question.
Sure Government funding and other grants have tightened up, but this is nothing new; it’s been happening for years.
What some don’t seem to get is that there is perhaps an over reliance on ‘normal funding streams’ – Government grants etc, these have never been a guaranteed source of funding unless an organization has some immediate tie to a Government policy area; even then these are up for review, with no guarantee that funding will go beyond certain periods which could be one, two or even up to five years.
Why are organizations facing funding issues? Simple, funding has tightened, the criteria has been stepped up and reporting has taken on a more indepth look at organizations deliverables and achievements.
What could be done to ensure longevity of organizations? I guess there’s no simple answer, but something I’ve long advocated is that organizations need to look beyond normal sources of funding, there are other options and that’s where a strong and committed management team is needed. Not only in terms of managing the organization on a daily basis, but also in connections the team could possibly tap into.
Recently an organization was facing closure over a shortfall of $30,000 in funding, after a quick round table with the management team it became apparent that this wasn’t as dire as it seemed. Every person on the team committed to find $5,000 within a week – and yes, they did it, and in fact they got more than the funding needed, almost double in fact.
It’s not just the responsibility of the funding or grants team, it’s the responsibility of everyone on the management team to find funding sources, personal connections play a big part in this.
Is your management team up to tap into their networks for funding when times are tough? If not, why not?