Charitable Resilience for Uncertain Times



What is Resilience?

Organizational resilience has been defined as “the ability of an organization to anticipate, prepare for, and respond and adapt to everything from minor everyday events to acute shocks and chronic or incremental changes”. (British Standard 65000: 2014 Guidance on organizational resilience).

The concept of resilience also carries with it the sense of being adaptive and agile, including being proactive in the face of a changing context or operating environment. This enables you to become stronger and better able as a charity to manage incidents or crises in a more effective way than might otherwise be the case. Increased resilience can be beneficial in helping you to prevent or reduce potential loss and damage to your charity, including financially, reputationally or in terms of improved business continuity.

For example, the Covid-19 health pandemic is impacting significantly upon many aspects of routine business for many organisations, including charities. This is taking many different forms, such as changes in legislation and statutory regulations, reduced available funding, staff sickness, or having to implement different working practices. Such changes can also create associated unplanned for risks and potential vulnerabilities for you, which need to be considered. For instance, how to mitigate additional cyber security risks, or manage staff well-being remotely with associated legal and insurance implications of lone/home working. These all require you as an organisation to be adaptive and innovative in your responses in order to continue operating effectively or, in some instances, to even survive the challenges.

The R4C Resilience Journey

At R4C, we have developed our own unique resilience audit tool which considers different forms of risk in an integrated, comprehensive way.

Though we consider compliance related issues as part of your audit, increased compliance is not our primary destination; rather, it is only one of the stepping-stones on your journey towards increased organisational resilience. We are concerned also with identifying other forms of potential risk and vulnerability which could impact significantly upon your charity if not addressed. This includes identifying the relationship between different areas of risk and compliance which may not be immediately apparent, but which nonetheless may create important vulnerabilities for your organisation.

Common Charitable Risks and Vulnerabilities

An essential part of the journey towards increased resilience, which is commonly overlooked or insufficiently understood by many organisations, is for you to identify all principal sources of potential risk. Without this initial assessment, you cannot effectively plan or prepare for or respond effectively to issues or incidents which may impact negatively upon your charity.

In the case of a charity, such risks commonly take the following form:

  • Inadequate financial controls and due diligence, resulting in a regulatory breach or fraudulent conduct;
  • A safeguarding incident involving children or an adult with care and support needs, without having the correct systems and procedures in place;
  • A church worker or volunteer listed on the sex offender’s register being involved in the provision of pastoral care because correct Disclosure and Barring Services checks were not carried out, posing a risk to more vulnerable members of your congregation or community;
  • A failure to take reasonable precautions in response to a foreseeable health and safety risk, resulting in a serious accident;
  • An employee disciplinary or grievance issue, made worse by having insufficient procedures in place or the right mechanisms in place to ensure it is followed in practice;
  • An employee or contractor dispute caused by having no or inadequate contracts in place, resulting in significant loss and / or disruption to your organisation;
  • A significant personal data breach caused by a cyber incident involving your organisation’s database, without having the necessary insurance policy in place to cover the cost of potentially significant liabilities under data protection legislation (GDPR); and
  • Not having the correct policies, systems or training in place to demonstrate the necessary level of due diligence expected by insurance underwriters, which may impact upon if / what may be claimed under your insurance policy in the event of a claim.

Resilience Audit Packages

We offer a range of resilience audit packages. Typically, these will take 3 - 5 days depending upon such factors as the size of your charity, and the depth and breadth of issues that you would like for us to consider. Further consultancy support is available too.

For more details, please get in touch.

I cannot recommend Resilience for Charities highly enough. I have received extraordinary personalised service, bespoke to the needs of our Charity, which was delivered with utter professionalism. All recommendations were extremely insightful and transformational, making us more resilient and confident going forwards.

Jan Ransom,
Director, Flame International

R4C really helped us to navigate safely through deep waters of complexity during a period of difficult growing pains. With professional ease and pragmatism, they helped us to restructure the charity, achieve CIO status and put new systems in place, leaving us confident and resilient. We are forever grateful for their excellence and help.

Chris and Tracey Wickland
Senior Pastors
Living Word Church Network