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  • Writer's pictureCharity Chat Podcast

E232 - Planning through turbulent times with Alison Taylor and Guy Foxell

“...the most digital generation ever to exist told us they would prefer to meet face-to-face, so we had to prioritise going back to in-person meetings as quickly as possible...” - Guy Foxell

In this episode we speak with friend of the show, Alison Taylor CEO at CAF Bank and CAF Charity Services, and Guy Foxell, CEO at One YMCA about planning through turbulent times. We speak about valuing staff, understanding your stakeholders, and how working with both through difficult times can lead to success for your charity.

1. The benefits of face-to-face

While many will enjoy the opportunity to reduce travel costs and work from home, there is a benefit from face-to-face working which is not easily replicated working virtually. Guy talked about his charity’s work and the desire both internally and externally for he and his colleagues to work in the same physical space. When it comes to giving and receiving empathy and building consensus, being in the same space poses many benefits.

2. Evaluating and responding to feedback

Alison spoke about the work that she and her colleagues are doing to understand the needs of their charity customers and how feedback is inbuilt in their communications. By understanding the world around us and how it is affecting our customers / supporters / and beneficiaries in real time, we can adapt our communications and projects to better accommodate this. When quantitative data is not available or easily skewed by small numbers of respondents, we might be better served in gathering qualitative data, which may take the form of a conversation with those using our services, or contributing to them.

3. Supporting staff in a time of strikes

We talked in this episode about the current cost of living crisis and inflation of prices which is far-surpassing wage rises. This is leading to strikes in many industries though there has been little adoption of this by those in the charity sector. There is challenge for leaders in the sector to provide adequate pay to staff while also meeting the needs of their beneficiaries and projects, especially in small charities or those living hand-to-mouth. With some of the most dedicated staff in our society putting their efforts into supporting their charity’s objectives and making the world a better place this can’t come at the cost of the health and wellbeing of these staff. Many charities are hopeful for a greater effort by government to address the wider societal cost increases which are affecting our staff as those we are trying to support.

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We hope you enjoy this week’s episode.

Related episodes that you may be interested in:

E210 - Young Leaders Podcast with Emma Carter and Lauren Kemp

E203 - The Need For Trustee Diversity With Alison Taylor And Kristina Kopic

E187 - The Charity Landscape Report With Catherine Mahoney And Alan Lally - Francis


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