For charitable organisations, there are often extra barriers to implementing successful change.

With the expectation that all funds must be spent directly on the end consumers, there are higher levels of scrutiny and governance required when deciding on whether to invest in a change programme for charity organisations, particularly where results may not happen instantly.

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1. Create an airtight business case

Before attempting to make change for good, charities should consider why they require the change and the benefits and outcomes that they hope to achieve. It’s important to be able to clearly articulate this early on as it will help to fortify the business and benefits cases.

2. Invest in long term change for good

Any transformation requires investment. With the varying levels of governance in the sector, justifications for spending can only be presented through the creation of an airtight business case.   This means carefully considering the level of investment that’s needed and acknowledging that change can be costly in time, money and effort.  Ensuring that there are tangible and measurable achievements, such as setting specific milestones, is crucial and will help to solidify the business case as well as keep motivation high where the advantages of the change programme will take time. These could be by aiming to achieve a certain amount of more fundraising conversions within a set amount of time, for instance.

3. Communicate project objectives carefully

An engaged team is core to delivering a successful project and transparent communication between all stakeholders is vital. This can feel like a mammoth task, but using existing communication channels to engage members in the process can yield greater results. Where there is a mixture of staff and volunteers, particularly when stretched across different regions, it is crucial to be able to tailor messaging about the upcoming change to everyone who will be affected.

4. Carefully mitigate all change risks

What many decision makers may not realise is that change is a continuous process which requires a high level of control for sustained periods of time.  Different charities, depending on the size and scale of the organisation, can have different levels of governance and timescales for approvals. This can cause obstacles and some delays to decision-making and ultimately the pace of change, – particularly if decision makers are not working full-time at the charity, which is quite common for the industry.

5. Maintain project outcomes

Successful delivery of projects within charities can also be compromised if its staff do not have the experience required to uphold  improvements  once the project has been completed. To maintain the changes, staff must be trained, equipped, supported and empowered to help preserve the continued benefits of the project.

For charities looking to embark on a change journey, successful outcomes often lie in ensuring that benefits and actionable steps are articulated to perfection. Ensuring that the right structure is in place, as well as effective communication across all levels of the organisation, will ensure success throughout the project duration and beyond.