New Year, New Outlook, New Resolutions

by | Jan 9, 2024 | Finance

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Hello, 2024!

It’s the start of a new year, and I don’t know about you, but the 1st of January always brings with it a wave of different emotions.

The excitement of a new year, the feeling of a fresh start, and a new vigour to tackle what comes our way to a feeling of nervousness about what 2024 has in store for us and where oh where should we start?

This year, we’re encouraging charities to see the start of 2024 as an opportunity. An opportunity to set new plans, change old habits, and think about and set new resolutions.

Helping to shift focus and support a change in mindset makes now the time to think about what you would like your charity to achieve this year outside the realms of the “norm.”

How can you implement these resolutions into your everyday operations? Keep them front of mind, and even build your aims and objectives around them.

Let us help!

New Year Resolutions for Charities

First and foremost, we must remember that for all New Year’s resolutions should stretch us; they must still be achievable – which means they need to be realistic.

In addition, you only need a couple. You’re running a charity; you’re already stretched, maxed out, and wearing so many different hats you’ve completely forgotten what the day job looks like. So, let’s not spread ourselves too thin or put too much pressure on ourselves. Choosing two or three key resolutions can help keep everyone focused and on track.

Key resolutions to choose from:

Review 2023

Carrying out a check and review of your charity, evaluating what went well and what maybe didn’t work as well, is the first and best place to start when thinking about new resolutions.

Think about and note down what happened in 2023 and what areas you would like to be different in 2024.

Invite your team, trustees and volunteers into these discussions, giving you a bigger perspective and detailed thoughts and opinions.

From here…

Repeat successes

If something worked well in 2023, why not replicate this success in 2024? You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every year; sometimes, making sure we do the same thing, adding to it, extending it slightly, or simply doing everything in the same way because it reaped success is absolutely fine.

Use your database more effectively for fundraising

You know it, I know it, your employees know it – you have to stay on top of your database and clean up your data, making sure every little detail is accurate if you’re going to get the most out of your fundraising campaigns.

You want and need actionable information, allowing you to build better relationships with your donors and users and positively influence your fundraising investments.

Trust us, cleaning up your data at the start of the year and spending a little time making sure everything is up to date and accurate could be a game changer.

Sort out your finances

Ok, this resolution is a biggy, so we’ve broken it down into mini-finance resolutions to help:

Plan your budget – we know that this is something you do relentlessly anyway, but with a new year ahead, take the time in January to work on your cash flow projections. Where could you trim certain expenses? How could you reassign resources to improve efficiency?

Build a contingency fund – building strong reserves into your forecasting, even a small percentage from your monthly fundraising initiatives, can help to provide stability and bring you peace of mind that you’re covered if an unexpected event occurs.

If VAT registered – seek VAT advice to ensure everything is in order and correct. There is no harm in asking an external advisor for support and advice. VAT can be a minefield; why not leave it to the experts and let us take care of the details?

Invest in training – investment in finance solutions is a must. Solutions like QuickBooks and Xero help you keep up with day-to-day bookkeeping work, monthly reporting, and even yearly accounting reports. However, it’s essential that you also invest in training, ensuring that those who need to can not only access the system but use it to support your charity’s everyday operations effectively.

Review controls – specifically, review internal financial controls against the Charity Commission guidance CC8 to reduce the risk of loss. What checks and procedures do you have in place to ensure you’re continuing to meet your legal duties to safeguard the charity’s assets, ensure high-quality financial reporting—adequate and timely financial records, etc. When was the last time you reviewed these controls?

Look to outsource – if keeping on top of the day-to-day bookkeeping, producing the monthly reports on time, every time, or consolidating accounts for Trustees is taking up too much of your time, causing you sleepless nights and confusion – why not consider outsourcing parts or all of your finance function. Outsourcing to a professional team, like Beyond Profit, means you have access to trained accountants with years of experience working in the charity sector. Helping to keep your daily finances in check so you can keep your business running. By outsourcing your bookkeeping, payroll, and even management accounts, you can save time and money.

Update your content

It’s vital that you keep the information you push out to your audiences fresh, with new and relevant content issued regularly.

To help look to repurpose old content in new ways, make sure all links work, and if you use social media to connect with users and donors, ensure you regularly post; people get nervous if a business hasn’t posted in a while or stop posting altogether.

Beyond Profit

At Beyond Profit, we have both personal and business New Year resolutions, with our main objective `to help as many small to medium-sized charities throughout the UK with their finance/accounting function.`

Whether this is through training, acting as your outsourced finance partner carrying out those everyday finance admin tasks we all love, or working with you to produce your end-of-year management accounts for Trustees.

We take our role working with charities very seriously and are excited to see what new business relationships 2024 will bring.

Want to learn more?

Book a 30-minute discovery call today.

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