Passion and professionalism: how can charities stay true to their values in an increasingly competitive environment

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Donna Covey, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council presented on "Passion and professionalism: how can charities stay true to their values in an increasingly competitive environment" at Warwick Business School 01/12/2008

Donna Covey has been Chief Executive of the Refugee Council since 29 May 2007. The Refugee Council is the leading charity in the UK working with asylum seekers and refugees.

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Passion and professionalism: how can charities stay true to their values in an increasingly competitive environment

  1. 1. Passion and professionalism<br />How can charities stay true to their values in an increasingly competitive environment <br />
  2. 2. 2<br />Talk about…<br />Refugee Council<br />Charity sector:<br />Current trends<br />Future challenges<br />Why it matters <br />Concluding thoughts <br />
  3. 3. 3<br />Refugee Council : mission<br />As a human rights charity, independent of government we work to ensure refugees are given the protection they need, that they are treated with respect and understanding, and that they have the same rights, opportunities and responsibilities as other members of our society<br />
  4. 4. 4<br />What we do <br />Support refugees and work with them to build an new life<br />Speak up for refugees and ensure they have a strong voce in all areas of UK life<br />Build links across society to increase mutual understanding of refugees<br />Make the case for a fair and just asylum system<br />Help build up a vibrant , sustainable and successful refugee sector in the UK and internationally <br />
  5. 5. 5<br />Refugee Council: key stats <br />Annual income : £18.8 m<br />¾ income: delivery of Home Office contracts to refugees <br />321 FTE staff<br />Over 300 volunteers<br />17 locations across the UK<br />
  6. 6. 6<br />Charities are big business<br />NCVO - 190,000 charities <br />Income £38 billion (almost doubled since 1997)<br />611,000 FTE staff<br />LSE- half a million third sector bodies <br />FTE workforce 1.5m<br />Volunteer workforce 6m FTE<br />
  7. 7. 7<br />Global phenomenon<br />Lester Salamon, John Hopkins:<br />Data from 40 countries <br />Third sector: $1.9 trillion in operating expenditure<br />48 million FTE jobs<br />4.6% active population work in the sector <br />
  8. 8. 8<br />In touch with the times <br />Charles Handy – just as the 20th century was a century of nations and political parties , the 21st will be the century of the not- for- profits<br />A desire to find a job with more meaning is a more common cause for exit than the pursuit of a fatter pay packet : Richard Reeves <br />
  9. 9. 9<br />Paradox <br />As the voluntary sector becomes more relevant both financially and culturally<br />We are under pressure to “professionalise” <br />Institutional funders increasingly demanding<br />Shift from grants to contracts<br />Public expectations contradictory<br />
  10. 10. 10<br />Pressure to professionalise<br />Increasing influence on public policy <br />Increased role in delivering public services<br />Social cohesion agenda<br />Democratic deficit<br />Growth of consumerism: impact on expectations<br />Global economy and communications revolution create pressure for transparency and accountability<br />Increasing interest in working in the sector <br />Stephen Bubb: Cass Lecture October 2007 <br />
  11. 11. 11<br />
  12. 12. 12<br />What keeps charity CEOs awake at night?<br />Great policy, poor delivery<br />Responding to the recession<br />Fundraising strategies<br />New needs<br />Management challenges<br />National vs local<br />Local involvement <br />Personal and individual budgets<br />Member and user involvements<br />Funders strategies<br />( 100 CEOs: Richard Gutch: Prospectus: November 2008)<br />
  13. 13. 13<br />Refugee Council : managing passion <br />Life and death issues<br />16% of staff are refugees <br />Public attitudes to asylum <br />“Study not for profit organisations if you want to learn about motivating employees”<br />Charles Handy<br />
  14. 14. 14<br />Refugee Council: delivering government contracts <br />Maintain the trust of vulnerable clients<br />Home Office contracts- but independent of the asylum decision making process <br />Maintain quality whilst competing competitively<br />Government commitment to a mixed economy<br />Biting the hand that feeds <br />
  15. 15. 15<br />Concluding thoughts<br />We have to professionalise to survive in a changing environment<br />But if we lose our values and passion we will fail financially as well as morally <br />When we get it right- we are a model for 21st century organisations <br />
  16. 16. 16<br />

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