Charity Rocks the Cotswolds

Charity Rocks1

Rock the Cotswolds, the campaign showcasing and supporting diversity and creativity across the Cotswold economy, brought charities together with not for profit expert Guy Biggin, Senior Partner at national accountancy firm Crowe UK and Colin Dyer, Chief Executive at the national charity WellChild.

Charities are having to work harder to raise money, stay solvent and legally compliant. Over the next 12 months, one in three charities has reduced, or is set to reduce staff and downsize, and more than a quarter say they will have to reduce front-line services. This compares to 19 per cent asked the same question in 2015.

It’s a tough climate out there. Speaking at Charity Rocks, a special briefing for Cotswold charities organised by Rock the Cotswolds, Guy said: “Looking ahead there are a host of challenges for charities, but the one of the most significant issues trustees are addressing is mission drift.”

Mission drift is the term applied when non-profit organisations risk operating outside of their  objects. “A priority for charities is to raise money,” explained Guy. “But trustees and senior managers must understand the impact that moving into new income generating activities has on their core objects. The risk of mission drift is increased as the focus moves away from core to other activities. Trustees must keep this under constant review.”

Keynote speaker at the event was Colin Dyer, Chief Executive at the national charity WellChild, which has its headquarters in Cheltenham.

WellChild helps to get seriously ill children and young people out of hospital and home to their families. Last year the charity allocated more that £1.4 million to its charitable programmes, an increase over the previous year.

It is in the fortunate position to be able to boast Prince Harry as its patron, but Colin pointed out that however high profile a charity’s supporters are, which helps with media coverage, a charity needs to be able to successfully turn this impact into donations through active engagement with the public.

“The key to our success has been to be identifying everyone who has ever engaged with the charity. They are our stakeholders – from those who have donated, to supporters, suppliers and even beneficiaries who want to support the charity which has helped them and their families,” he said.

Guy outlined key considerations and issues which all charities should be aware of, including new Government regulations on charities, and the need for robust financial controls.

Representatives from charities across the region attended the event, including Longfield Hospice at Minchinhampton. Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, The Pied Piper Appeal, The Hollie Gazzard Trust and Young Gloucestershire.

Rock the Cotswolds co-founder, Oli Christie, said: “Behind every registered charity is the desire to make the world a better place, but they can find themselves bogged down in red tape and regulation.

“Guy and Colin’s advice was practical and informative and Rock the Cotswolds is keen to support local charities through the growing reach of our networks. We hope to make this an annual event.”

Rock the Cotswolds was launched in 2014 as a colourful and creative national campaign to challenge popular misconceptions of the Cotswolds as simply a tourist paradise of rolling vistas and pretty villages.

While great for tourism, this picture overlooks the region’s many world-leading businesses which offer ambitious young people and skilled people demanding a great work/life balance.

There’s as much going on across Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire as in London – you just need to know where to look.

Rock the Cotswolds, run by Oli Christie, Nicky Godding and Melissa Ormiston, regularly reveals new people and businesses who are making their mark across the Cotswolds. Called Rock the Cotswolds’ Rockers, nearly 200 are profiled and showcased on www.rockthecotswolds.com.

Anyone can nominate a Rocker. To nominate: visit www.rockthecotswolds.com.

Visit www.rockthecotswolds.com to discover all our Rockers and for more information about the Rock the Cotswolds campaign.

Follow the campaign: @rockthecotswold on Twitter; ‘Like’ the Facebook page: Rock the Cotswolds; Follow us on Instagram: Rockthecotswolds or Join the LinkedIn Group: Rock the Cotswolds

Rock the Cotswolds is kindly supported by Crowe UK, an award-winning national accountancy firm offering audit, tax and advisory services to all levels of business from entrepreneurs to large corporates. It is a part of Crowe Horwath International the eighth-largest association of professional services firms in the world, a network with 200 independent accounting and advisory firms in over 100 countries.