Charities/NGOs are taking hard look into their organisational structure in this credit crunch climate. Interestingly, I find that while almost everyone is in some kind of notion to do something for the credit crunch, though they are not very clear how actually they are affected if at all. However, I think this is a good sign as the credit crunch is at least forcing charities to think differently. Yesterday, I had a chat with one charity CEO, whom I supported around 2 years ago while they were going through a restructuring/ redundancy process due to falling general reserve. At that point of time, the charity had 27 staffs, and it seems that all of them were busy with no spare times. Now after two years the staff level came down to 15 and interestingly the charity income has not reduced or even increased slightly. Relevant stakeholders including internal are happy with the services being received and the general reserve is increasing slowly. The reduction of 12 staffs equated roughly £ 350k savings.
I asked the CEO “exactly what is missing here” – he replied that we certainly got rid of unnecessary meetings as we were used to conduct in every Monday. It does not seem that the mission or level of service delivery has been affected at all. Does it bring us to the point that a lot of time, there are self generating jobs within charities, and often it is just to make people busy? In general charity/NGO has a culture of meeting often without knowing what exactly that is for. This particular charity would have been bankrupt by now if this far sighted restructuring approach were not initiated by the CEO two years ago. Who know how many charities are there facing crisis but a hard look into the way they structure might keep them alive ?