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Kathy Faulks attended the Association of Chairs presentation by Karl Wilding of NCVO
This presentation was very thought provoking. The ideas expanded below are not necessarily all provided by Karl. There was plenty of debate and lots of ideas.Remember all the bad press that charities have had in recent years?
Think of Olive Cooke's tragic suicide, Kids Company and all the furore about pay for chief executives.This presentation was primarily about how to deal with the media and how to make meaningful contact with the public.It is legitimate to ask difficult questions of charities. Charities need to face up to a higher level of scrutiny. robust responses are needed. Most important of all a charity needs to hold its hand up if something has gone wrong.The same issues of complaint come up time and time again:
- Fundraising methods
- Failure to protect vulnerable donors
- Salaries of chief executives
- Wasteful use of funds
- Charities being too political
- Poor governance
Charities are changing.Conversations are needed about people' understanding of what charities are and the modern reality. Boundaries have blurred between different sectors. For example, examination boards are now charities. We need to be able to explain to the public what is charitable about our work and how we benefit the public.Charities have become more professional and business like. Charities are being encouraged to bid for contracts.Charities need to tell the story not respond to the story!
But also if oil is spilling we need to cap the well. refer particularly to fundraising, executive pay and poor governance.Once the well is capped. charities need to do something pro active.And then charities need to tell the story-their story!This might be the way to restore trust.Myth busting does not work! we need to reframe and provide constructive voices.