Building charity resilience



A charity's resilience isn't simply a measure of financial performance. It's about bouncing back from setbacks, taking time to reflect and being prepared for future challenges. Here we look at what makes a resilient charity.

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 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.

We can help you build your resilience

How many of the pieces do you think your charity has in place?

If you'd like some help to work on these or other areas of your charity's performance our team of charity advisors can help.

We'll use our experience, networks and insights to help you to build on your strengths, identify and take advantage of new opportunities and be prepared for any hurdles along the way. This will set you on a clear course to get on and deliver your mission with confidence.

More on resilient charities

Six characteristics of a resilient charity

In this blog, Beth Clarke explores what makes a charity resilient and why it's so important that they are.

Building the resilience of charities

CAF Resilience is a pilot programme to test out how we at CAF, and others in the charity and voluntary sector, can help small charities to be more resilient.


Whatever your size, we provide solutions for funding and financing your charity's needs.


Can we help your organisation?


Our team of charity advisors work with charities that want to build their long-term resilience.

Find out how we can help