Resilient charities

Having the time and space to develop a long-term plan for the future of your charity or social enterprise can be a challenge. Many charitable organisations face a tough task to achieve financial sustainability while the demand for services continues to increase.

A charities organisational resilience isn't simply a measure of financial performance, it also goes beyond having the capacity to keep the lights on during uncertain times. It's about being able to recover quickly from setbacks, to anticipate the challenges ahead and be prepared for them.

We're currently testing how we at CAF, and others in the charity sector, can help small charities to be more resilient through our CAF Resilience Programme.

Approaches resilient charities take

The approach that resilient charities take to solving problems is to look outside, not just inside, for answers. Collaborating with peers and senior management, applying expert insight and engaging professional support can better equip you to shape your strategy, harness assets and adapt to the changing climate. 

Six signs of a resilient charity

Through our advisory work with charities we've identified six characteristics that show an organisation has the potential to be resilient.

6 signs of a resilient charity

  • They understand what their purpose is, and just as importantly what it isn’t.
  • They are financially and operationally fit with sufficient income from a diverse range of sources.
  • They are able to identify and communicate the need that they meet and the impact that they have.
  • They have effective leadership with trustees and executives who take time to talk about the bigger picture rather than focus solely on day to day matters.
  • They are well networked and able to get support from and work in partnership with others.
  • They have an awareness of the political, economic, local and national context they work in, regularly horizon scanning for challenges, threats and opportunities.

Survive. Adapt. Thrive.

Explore more actions to survive, tools to adapt and strategies to thrive during and after the Covid-19 crisis. Use the links below or get an overview of the resources available now

Collaborating with other charities

Michael Mapstone on why charities should consider working with others (5 min watch).

Watch the video

Financing the future guide

Our free guide tells you everything you need to know about repayable finance for charities.

Read the guide

Nailing and communicating your mission statement

Beth Clarke on how to get your mission across to donors (5 min watch).

Watch the video