Several key themes for change are emerging in the Not-for-Profit sector. Additional needs in health, education and poverty spring up faster than the sector can possibly meet them. At the same time, many Not-for-Profit sector organisations find their traditional sources of funding withering. Competition has increased enormously in some areas of fundraising, such as direct mail and corporate sponsorships. The core/non-core debate in Government at all levels has led to risks and opportunities for Not-for-Profit sector contract funded work. Further, Not-for-Profit sector organisations find themselves under increasing pressure to provide “evidence of worth” to demonstrate the value of their work. This pressure is both internal (organisations recognising that they have a duty to provide evidence that their resources have been well used) and external (beneficiaries, funders and regulators demanding proof of value and accountability from Not-for-Profit sector organisations). In short, the Not-for-Profit sector is an increasingly challenging place to be.
Z/Yen's risk/reward methodology, Z/EALOUS, is of particular use to Not-for-Profit sector organisations when undertaking strategic planning exercises, budgeting exercises, information systems studies or when reviewing the effectiveness of functions. In order to align risk and reward, Z/Yen often works with clients through the entire planning lifecycle: definition, assessment, options analysis, action planning, implementation and review. Z/Yen people are skilled at using strategic planning, project management, systems design quality standards and contract management methodologies. In practice, these tools vary from assignment to assignment, but the Z/EALOUS methodology remains consistent in each type of assignment and in each type of organisation; risk and reward can be defined in terms of the objects of the organisation and the objectives of the assignment.
For example, in undertaking a strategic planning exercise with a charity which had broad charitable purposes, we analysed each strategic opportunity in terms of advancing education, promoting health, relieving poverty and the extent to which the opportunity met emerging needs in that aspect of charitable work. In the Not-for-Profit sector, the final reward is not financial but it can nevertheless be assessed and to some degree, measured.
Z/Yen's Not-for-Profit sector clients vary from the larger (e.g. The Children’s Society, Cancer Research UK, Barnardo's, British Red Cross, British Heart Foundation) through medium-sized (e.g. The Shaftesbury Society, Broadcasting Support Services, BEN, ChildLine) to smaller (e.g. The Marine Stewardship Council, Centre for Medical Risk Studies). Z/Yen people have also worked with Not-for-Profit organisations as diverse as Save the Children, Amnesty International, The Wellcome Trust, Action For Blind People, International Transport Workers' Federation, Shelter, Associated Country Women of the World, Mencap, British Red Cross, Friends Of The Earth, Cancer Relief Macmillan Fund, National Autistic Society and World Wide Fund For Nature. Our risk/reward work with Not-for-Profit sector organisations has included strategic planning, system reviews, value for money studies, quality management systems, interim management roles, financial planning, computer systems implementations, effectiveness reviews, information technology strategies and reserves assessments.
Z/Yen's risk/reward approach helps Not-for-Profit sector organisations' trustees, executives, staff and volunteers understand the issues they face in their proper perspective. We strive to undertake our Not-for-Profit sector work with zest, humour and creativity in order to provide our clients with solutions that control risk and enhance reward for every Not-for-Profit sector organisation.