For many charities, generating income and utilising it in the most effective ways possible is a real challenge. Here we reveal 10 simple and easy ways that charities can streamline their spending to get the most bang for their buck.
1. Specialist Charity Telecoms
Having a reliable telecoms infrastructure is the backbone of any organisation…this is the communication age after all. For charities, opting for a specialist Third Sector telecoms provider is the common sense option when it comes to making savings. VS Group ‘gets‘ charities and is one of the UK’s leading providers of tech and telecoms for the charity sector. This is backed up by our price promise guarantee, where we beat any like-for-like quote, ensuring that charities get the best possible deal. On average, we can shave 30% off of most charity’s telecoms spend, by driving down their current costs. Almost 200 UK charities and counting work with us.
2. Emerging Technologies
Charities shouldn’t shy away or prolong the use of emerging, new technologies that can be worth the investment long term, instead they should look to utilise them to increase efficiently within its running operations.
Cloud software is a prime example of this, as it can save charities lots of money, as users only pay for what they use, when compared to traditional hosted systems. Annually this can amount to considerable savings for a charity.
Contactless payments are the modern age answer to collection boxes and some charities, such as Cancer Research, have incorporated contactless payment technology into shop window glass, to allow impulsive givers to do just that with just a tap.
3. Partnerships and Sponsorships
Partnering with businesses is a great way to save on expenditure. Many businesses welcome the idea of partnerships or providing sponsorships to charities, as it tends to be mutually beneficial and is often a good PR.
Corporate partnerships can be both long term and ongoing or can be short term, for something such as a one-off event. Approaching a business that you feel shares a similar ethos and values to your charity is a good place to start. Share your collaboration ideas with them and chances are, they will be enthusiastically received.
Businesses often provide their products or services to charities free of charge, in the form of a sponsorship. In Kind Direct is a fantastic buying platform that was created especially for charities, where they can purchase discounted goods that have been donated by UK businesses.
4. Take Advantage of Tax Breaks
As you may already be aware, there are many tax breaks that charities can qualify for (which can be subject to change on a yearly basis) that charities can and should utilise, to ensure that maximum funds go towards the good work that they do.
Gift Aid is a crucial means in which charities can maximise their income; for every £1 that is donated, an additional 25p can be claimed back from HMRC, all of which can be done online (available to registered charities only).
Many people don’t realise that giving Gift Aid to charities can actually reduce the amount of income tax that they pay, as their taxable income is calculated after Gift Aid has been deducted, rather than before. So it is a very good idea to implore people do so!
5. Take to Social Media to See Who Can Help
Spreading the world is one of the best ways to let people know about your cause and in the current day and age, and the best way to do so is through social media. Not only is it a powerful tool for fundraising but it is a great way to let people know of your charity’s needs, allowing people to step up and help if they can.
6. Be Resourceful
Over time, small things add up. Creating a culture of in-office resourcefulness is essential for charities. A few examples of this could include using unbranded products that can be cheaper and in many cases rival the quality of their branded counterparts.
Another great way to keep costs down is to purchase second hand office furnishings. Avoid printing things out and give out e-brochures and e-cards instead of paper ones – over the course of a year, this will undoubtedly amount to a significant saving.
It is also well worth creating a healthy working environment within the office, which can reduce sick leave and ensure that staff and volunteers are happy within your charitable organisation.
7. Pro Bono
Staffing costs can be a big drain of funds for charities, however in order to operate efficiently and effectively, having the right manpower is essential. Working with pro bono staff is a big way to keep costs down. Pro bono staff are typically experts in the law, business and marketing industries that carry out work without payment, as a goodwill gesture, usually for charitable causes.
8. Fixed Costs
When it comes to outgoing costs, one of the main ways that charities can ensure that their expenditure doesn’t spiral out of control is to opt for fixed cost options for outgoings such as utilities and rent. One of the things that VS Group prides itself on is our ability to fix our contract costs, which saves charities money and avoids any nasty surprises, allowing charities to effectively plan their finances in the future.
9. Do What You Can to Show Appreciation to Your Donors
We all know that charities receive all donations with immense gratitude and showing and demonstrating this is key to building an ongoing relationship with them. Get creative with giving thanks to those who make the effort to donate, with things like competitions and raffles, or even something as simple as giving a sticker to people drop their change in collection boxes. Showing appreciation is an action that is mutually beneficial – they get recognition for their contribution and it will make donors much more likely to continue to give to your charity in the future, which is great for charities.
10. Strength in Numbers
There are many ways in which charities can work together to bring down running costs – by working together, charities can make bulk purchases and make collective savings. This can be done through the Charities Buying Group, which specialises in bulk-buying for the Third Sector. With over 30 charity members, the collective buying power is in the tens of millions, making for millions of pounds saved.