A.  Situation:

The charity had been in existence for over seven years but was still operating out of the back bedroom of its founder.  It was decided by the Trustees that the charitable work could only move forward by setting up a small office in London and develop its systems, processes and strategic aims.

At the beginning of this work the charity was very fortunate to receive a grant over three years that would cover the majority of core costs.  This provided a useful time frame for the development of this project.


B.  Approach:

Very early on, working with the Chairman and Trustees, we clarified the purpose and objectives of the charity.  Over the three years these have been adjusted slightly as the services were developed.

First, and foremost, we needed to be focused on ensuring that the local communities could support the rehabilitation of patients.  This involves capacity building over the full range of a patient's journey of recovery.  Secondly, we needed to raise public awareness.  Thirdly, to ensure that there is a thriving and healthy network of sustainable local organisations.  And lastly, that the charity remained healthy, effective and sustainable while there is still a need its services.

Achievements by Charity Objectives

1.  Capacity Building - The charity works to ensure that the necessary skills and knowledge are in place to provide the effective, sustainable support essential to helping patients rebuild their lives.  This is done by helping to:
2.  Raising Awareness - It was essential to identify the charity's key relationships / supporters and ensure that it was able to provide a consistent source of information to them.  This would help develop and maintain a committed network of supporters.  The main areas of focus:
3.  Healthy and Thriving Network of Local Organisations - The charity helps to set up local  organisations, ensuring that there is competent staff and effective systems in place.  Over time they are expected to be financially and organisationally independent:
4.  Charity Well Established and Sustainable

C.  Results

I believe that the charity has made significant progress over the past three years.  It is now a well established small charity that is recognised in many areas of the world as a source for expertise.  Most of the key administrative processes are now in place both for running the charity and the services provided.  It has also taken big steps forward in its ability to work with expert volunteers and develop the capacity of local practitioners to support the rehabilitation of patients in-country.

The rapid growth has also brought challenges - particularly the need to ensure that adequate resources (funding and staff/volunteers) are in place to sustain and develop the work.  Given the current economic climate, and difficulty of raising funds, it has become a real challenge to balance the need for funding against the need to deliver the  charitable services. 

However, it has been very rewarding to see that the charity is now organisationally strong enough to attract significant grants.  For example, it recently received a UN grant for over US$400k over two years.

The charity is in an excellent position to make an even larger impact on developing local capacity and raising awareness.  More and more people from around the world are coming to the charity for support and direction and it is getting increasing support from influential people and organisations.

Feedback:

'You have worked extremely hard and built the systems and structure from virtually nothing.  When you joined there was only the most rudimentary of systems.  We now have systems in place that can support our activities no matter how large we grow or how complex our activities.  We simply would not have got to the stage we are at without you.' 

Chairman of the Charity
'...congratulations on what you have achieved for (the charity) and warm good wishes for your future..'

Key Funder to the Charity



Case Study: Supporting the Development of a Small Charity
LivingTeams LLP