It is easier than ever to find and hire great freelancers. Experienced professionals are choosing the flexible lifestyle of a freelancer and platforms like Blume minimise the risk and faff involved in hiring them.
So when could this flexible and accessible expertise be useful to Charity Chairs?
First, if you want to support your chief executive. Charity chief executives are often terrible at spending money on getting support for themselves. Often they will feel that it is unjustifiable for resources to be diverted in their direction and they may well suffer from the delusion that they can and should do everything themselves. As Chair you can give your chief executive the green light to hire freelancers who will save them time, money and anxiety. Freelancers can help with specific tasks (e.g. writing bids or impact reports) and also as coaches/mentors for those conversations that chief executives feel uncomfortable having even with the most supportive Chairs.
Second, to stop you doing work that you shouldn’t have to do. It is not part of the Chair’s remit to be putting together the accounts, leading fundraising, organising an event or many of the other activities that Chairs, particularly of small charities, get dragged into. Hiring professional freelancers will not only free up your time but in many instances they will be able to do a better job too!
Third, if something is going wrong. You can of course hire freelancers as interims if a key person leaves suddenly for whatever reason. But if you just have a feeling that all is not right, hiring an experienced freelancer to review a specific area or indeed help out with a specific task (finance is a common area of concern) is a very cost effective way of either comforting you or else confirming your worst fears.
For the last five years excessive workload has been the single biggest issue facing small charities* - even before the pandemic struck. Freelancers offer a practical way of tackling this challenge and making life better for everyone who works for charities – even the Chairs.
* Small Charities Data: The main challenges facing small charities