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3 things to avoid in your charity’s transformation strategy

by Anna Naylor, Louise Lai

3-minute read

3 Mistakes To Avoid In Your Charitys Transformation Strategy

As you take steps toward change within your organisation, are you overlooking these key areas?

If you read our previous article on the signs it’s time for your charity to embrace change, you may be thinking of ways to shake things up in your not for profit. Before getting started, familiarise yourself with these common pitfalls organisations often make when devising their transformation strategies to make sure you’re in the best position to achieve success.

Three errors to steer clear of:

1) Not putting users first

Within the not for profit sector, there’s an ongoing conversation around being audience led and benefiting the end user. To achieve organisational goals, users’ needs must be embedded at every level. But this doesn’t always happen.

If your users aren’t engaging, it might be because you’re not putting them at the centre of your strategy. When was the last time you approached your users to find out what they want and need from your organisation? 

Check out our report to learn how Parkinson’s UK are putting users at the heart of what they do and read about how Breast Cancer Now is meeting user needs with a new support app.

2) Having a plan that isn’t agile (or not having one at all)

While agile and pivot became buzzwords during Covid-19, they’re not to be dismissed. Successful charities have been reacting flexibly to what’s going on in the world since pre pandemic times. Those that had pivoting down to an art were in a much stronger position to survive the pandemic and other unpredictabilities that came their way.

If your plan isn’t flexible or you don’t have a plan at all, your organisation will inevitably suffer for it. Long term plans must be in place with regular opportunities to revisit and reassess them to remain agile.

If you’re unsure where to start, you might benefit from setting quarterly Objectives and Key Results (OKRs). Find out more about how OKRs can help you in our report

3) Not aligning with organisational goals and values

In times of uncertainty, core values and mission statements could be the first thing to get lost in the chaos. However, they should be the guiding light for your organisation to withstand difficult times. Revisit your goals and values – is your organisation still aligned with them?

The ability of organisations to work together towards a joint cause is the rate limiting factor for success in times of change. Consider whether your team knows what the common goal is and if leaders are clarifying this purpose so that you’re all working toward a shared vision.

Our report with Third Sector unpacks the modern leadership traits needed to lead change.

Where will you go from here?

We hope we’ve left you with plenty of food for thought on ways to transform your not for profit organisation. But that’s not all — we’re here to help you make change happen.

We’ve worked with Third Sector to deliver a webinar and a report to help you on your transformation journey. 

Be the first to read the report, which includes ways to identify blockers and enablers of change, practical ways to implement new ways of working and real life stories of charities leading the way. And don’t forget to catch up on our webinar to explore how you can approach transformation to deliver lasting impact