Freelancers for charities

Managing workload - the missing fourth ingredient

By Alexander Stevenson

Between 2015 and 2020 the FSI conducted a survey which asked small charities to select their top challenges.  In each of the five years the number one challenge is the same, beating its closest rivals funding, cashflow and demand.  That number one challenge is of course workload. 


Consistently excessive workload is obviously not a good thing.  It strangles resilience and nourishes burnout.  

To deal with this challenge charities can typically find three types of support - training to help leaders plan, manage and prioritise better (aka work smarter, not harder – humpf); one-off consultancy to develop a sustainable strategy; and if they're lucky unrestricted funding so that they can afford more people to do the work.

But there is a critical fourth element missing – a ready and flexible supply of the people who can actually do the work for you.

Overworked managers looking for such support face unenviable  options.  They can go down the uncertain, unwieldy and expensive route of formal recruitment.  They can rely on personal networks and an informal, possibly slapdash process.  Or in many cases they take the path of least resistance and simply absorb the work themselves.   

Imagine instead having a shadow team of trusted freelancers – say a couple of fundraisers, a finance person, a writer, an HR manager, an administrator, a former CEO – who are readily available for work of all shapes and sizes.  What could be better designed to support resilience than having trusted spare capacity when you need it  and not being over-dependent on one or two individuals?

Well of course you don’t just have to imagine it!  Blume is making this a reality.  We have a roster of talented, experienced charity professionals interested in freelance work and a straightforward process for hiring and paying them.

So come and try us.  Add the fourth ingredient and push workload down your list of challenges.