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Finance function effectiveness - Charity begins at home

How do the finance directors who work in charities make the funds go further? In a tight economy, how do those at the helm maintain discipline and drive fundraising? Two FDs on the frontline of the third sector share their experiences

Graham Wareham, FD of Leonard Cheshire

We are around a £160m turnover organisation. The majority of our work centres on providing care and support to disabled people either in their own home, in a care home or in what’s called supported living.

We also help disabled people get into employment. The majority of our services are fee-based, where we’re contracted to provide a service by either local authorities or the NHS. We get about £15m a year of voluntary income, and that’s what we use to provide services for free that wouldn’t be provided otherwise.

From the FD’s perspective, the issue of financial discipline has seen the most change in the last decade. Almost all charities now understand that, and particularly in the past three years, it’s well known that most charities are either getting their money from public donations or they’re being contracted by the government.

This is an extract from the Finance & Management Magazine, Issue 219, March 2014.

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