Suggested Charity Books to Read

Average Reading Time: 2 mins

Just some of the books that you should be reading if you’re involved in a charity.

Book Description
Managing without Profit: Leadership, Management and Governance of Third Sector Organisations
Managing Without Profit – now in its fifteenth year of publication – has sold over 18,000 copies and been translated into three languages. Over the years this title has become the essential guide to leading, managing and governing nonprofit organisations. Distilling a vast amount of information into an easy-to-use guide, Managing Without Profit provides a practical overview for busy managers and board members who need to learn a lot in a short space of time. The new edition has been completely revised and updated, with new chapters on managing strategic partnerships and managing knowledge and new sections on winning work from the public sector and tracking corporate performance. It also includes many new case examples drawn directly from the author’s recent work. Mike Hudson is Director of Compass Partnership, a group of consultants that has been working exclusively with nonprofit organisations for 25 years.
Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success
GIVE AND TAKE presents the fascinating secrets to givers’ success. The results are unequivocal: givers gain big. Jack Welch, Richard Branson, Jon Huntsman Sr. – all of them are givers. In a world in which so many takers such as Bernard Madoff and Raj Rajaratnam have ruined lives and reputations, this book will reassure readers that the real power lies in becoming a giver. Since the vast majority of people aren’t born givers, Grant not only presents the case for why givers win, he also offers their hidden strategies for winning.
The Nonprofit Strategy Revolution: Real-Time Strategic Planning in a Rapid-Response World
The world changes continuously and rapidly. It s foolhardy to believe that strategies should not do so as well. Nonprofit leaders already know this, but traditional strategic planning has locked them into a process that s divorced from today s reality. That s why plans sit on the shelf and why smart executives are always seeking workarounds in between planning periods. ” The Nonprofit Strategy Revolution” offers a nimble and powerful alternative. In this groundbreaking book, strategy expert David La Piana introduces Real-Time Strategic Planning, a fluid, organic process that engages staff and board in a program of systematic readiness and continuous responsiveness. With it, your nonprofit will be able to identify, understand, and act on challenges and opportunities as they arise. At the heart of this practical book is the Real-Time Strategic Planning Cycle. Based on four years of research and testing with a variety of nonprofits, this proven process guides you through the steps to sound strategy. You ll find tools for clarifying your competitive advantage; generating a strategy screen criteria for evaluating strategies to be able to respond quickly; handling big questions; developing and testing strategies; and implementing and adapting strategies.
Does the Charity Commission even know what charity is?

Average Reading Time: 2 mins

After reading an article in The Guardian by Geoffrey Robertson QC about the Charity Commissions refusal to provide the HDT registration as a charity in 2014, it got me thinking about the registration process and how not once does the law give any regard to moral principles.

This is certainly understandable but I wondered how many of the general public would be aware? – If a charitable cause fighting for rights of a group of people can be declined Charity Status (although this has since been revoked and they are now a charity), I wonder how many of them payed attention to the cost attributed to this decision, which essentially means the funds are reduced to spend on support of all other charities by the body – added to removing funds from the valuable work of the HDT. The casefile from the tribunal states “It is important to record that the Charity Commission made clear in its decision, and indeed in its submissions to the Tribunal, that its objections to the registration of HDT were technical legal ones and that it recognised HDT’s valuable philanthropic work in the field of human rights” So this means they added a legal burden to this charity to instigate a tribunal because of their own ‘technical legal objections’.

What does this say for the state of the Charity Commission decision makers who declined this group? Or that a processes hasn’t been created to allow the commission to make this decision, after all they have the power of the high court as stated in the Charities Act.

I can understand the Charity Commissions stance that an aim to change law may be perceived as political, however the aim was to protect individuals by changing laws which persecute them… can that NOT be a charity in any view?

I think this case should have hopefully made clear some issues with charitable wording, however this shouldn’t have been needed and certainly not in the way this has had to have happened. There should be a clarification of political purpose and an extension to be very specific.

Fighting for rights to specific subset, one which does not remove other living beings rights

What if they were fighting for rights of another group, more decisive? Lets say they were fighting for rights of people who want slavery to return, this wouldn’t be allowed as not only would this be a ridiculous cause, but it clearly fights for rights that remove others rights and dignity.

Any organisation which fights directly for rights of a demographic that doesn’t ask for rights to be removed from others to achieve their aims MUST be a charity, regardless of what risks this poses to UK foreign relations. Although its written in law that the High Court must take into considerations any foreign relations and not judge upon their laws, the UK has a responsibility to the world in standing up for rights of people, regardless of what political impact that may have. By not allowing the register of a charity like this, they give legitimacy to countries who do destroy human rights, that in itself is a worse political statement for the UK.

The Human Dignity Trust have even been praised by Ulrike Lunacek, Vice-President of the European Parliament;

Charity Commission and Ethics – are they taken into consideration?

Average Reading Time: 2 mins

Ethics is a very important, nay critical, aspect of Charity. We all have a moral obligation to protect, promote and defend charities, after all they do good work? Its this element that is questioned although charities have an objective which is required to be for public good, how much is actually given to ethical conduct?

Ethical Investment &Fundraising

There is plenty written on ethical investments, not only for charities but becoming more popular for consumers to appreciate in corporate world too, these investments can be criticised greatly from the Church of England investing in Arms production to Comic Relief owning shares in tobacco firm. These were criticised by the public for going against what they do, however I’d  take this one further – we shouldn’t allow investment of charities into things which other charities fight against, hows is it possible that there are so many charities fighting war torn countries, yet other charities can invest in arms production, what about all those fighting against animal cruelty (hats off to the charities who do not support, condone or fund animal testing), when there are charities pumping massive amounts into companies which fund animal experimentation. This cycle shouldn’t be possible, but i would go as so far as to say there should be one ethical investment charity, which controls the morals which investments can be made – no charity should fund arms, animal experimentation (Support the cause), tobacco, large pharma, salve labour or even invest in countries whos human rights are suspect!

I know there is much criticism on the moral decision to take profits but is it really better to take a donation from an organisation which is ethically dubious and use those funds for good, or is that only ever going to protect that organisation? I believe its the latter Don’t Leave a Legacy of Suffering

Issues to think about

  • Wealth
  • Gender
  • Animal Welfare
  • Environmental impact
  • Worker rights
  • Political concerns/connections
  • Rate of change/change adoption/flexiblity

Ethical Conduct

How do you confirm a charity is not only using its funds ethically but both professional and truly working for the cause itself? I’m not sure there is an answer here, but I believe complaints and issues within a charity need to be more publicly available, a key statistic would be the number of whistle blowing complaints of the charity (be they investigated or not) that figure would give a better impression of what the internal staff and volunteers believe to be the ethical standard – only those who are suspicious of dubious activity would complain, the more complaints the more its is a reliable figure to require investigation – clearly something is wrong if there are multiple whistle blowing from inside of an organisation. I wonder if the Charity Commission actually has set limits where enough complaints come in for there to be an automatic investigation into the charity, I feel there should be but very much doubt there is any such policy.