The joy of the internet for many of us is the wealth of information that is available at a free or reasonable cost. With anyone able to publish anything (witness this blog) with few barriers there is someone, somewhere in the world who want to share opinions or facts with the rest of the world. A problem muttered is that with anybody being able to write large across the ether, how are we to know what is correct and what is not? Something we did not have in the good old days of print. Well, I would beg to differ on this last point, print is still paid for by someone and their opinion can influence. Newspapers and research are prime examples of this. But, most people are quite sincere in their wanting to put facts, figures and yes, points of view out there, so let us have faith and check our sources.
I mention the above because I was recently looking at an organizations accounts, available from the Charity Commission and discovered that they had not filed their accounts for the last four years on time. Worse were the legends writ large in red such as ‘433 days overdue‘. Many funders will not give money to any other type of organization than those registered with the Charity Commission for the very simple reason that they know that the governing document has been approved and that the accounts of the organization are open to scrutiny. Given that following the closure of the financial year there are ten months to submit accounts it is a telling indication of a charity’s efficiency, efficacy and fitness for purpose when those accounts are late (and worse consistently), let alone with constant deficits. Funders do not look kindly on these circumstances. Note that similar records are available at Companies House.
Another point is your web site, we all want one and can have one. It is our shop front and projects the image we want it to. Thus, out of date information can be taken to be that the organization could be not as professional as it could be. I am not suggesting that we all go out and pay thousands of pounds for web sites, resources are thin (note that this website is hosted by WordPress and written and edited by Blue Key). But it does pay to think about your website and make sure that you have the resources to keep it up to date and looking good: informative, illustrative and part of your ‘appearance’ – giving confidence to your stakeholders and clients in your expertise and professionalism.