A little bit of what you fancy does you good. But beware of having too much of a good thing.
According to their own self-assessment in Bond’s 2016 Healthcheck Report Development charities find that too much unrestricted funding is significantly more damaging than too little.
The report throws up a range of intuitively logical findings:
a) Charities with more than 70% restricted funding see themselves as much better at running programmes
b) They view themselves as much better at engaging with beneficiaries
c) Much better at partnering.
d) They perceive themselves to be dramatically better at influencing than those with largely unrestricted funding – by a colossal 2.87 vs 1.88 out of 5.
More surprisingly perhaps, organisations with more restricted funding actually rate themselves better in EVERY dimension than those with unrestricted funds. While this may well be an anomaly of the small sample size for the unrestricted group, the 4 standout findings above at a) through d) are sufficiently clear-cut to appear conclusive.
More interesting still, though, charities which have less than 70% restricted funding AND less than 70% unrestricted – i.e. a mixed funding model – actually outperform even the restricted group on 6 out of 11 axes.
In the words of the report’s author, Fiona Waters:
“Organisations with a mix of restricted and unrestricted funding score higher on a greater number of pillars compared to those with either largely restricted or largely unrestricted funding.”
On the five measures where they fall behind, the mixed group are sometimes well behind – 2.89 vs 3.15 on beneficiary engagement, and 2.6 vs 2.87 on influencing. But by contrast they also appear to be noticeably better at managing their staff (3.18 vs 2.98) and clearly better at managing their money: 3.15 vs 2.92.
The findings are outlined in full below:
Control and freedom, working together – as in so many areas of life.
Tim Kitchin is client service director and director of consulting at Copper, the digital marketing agency.