Assess and manage risk with the Fiveways Charity Stress Test

The current climate of additional scrutiny and focus on charities means that Fiveways’ Stress Test is a very timely product that we think many charities would be keen to utilise. We found the working relationships with Fiveways supportive, honest and open, and we gained a lot from the process.”
Jo Youle, Chief Executive, Missing People.

Are you taking the necessary steps to protect your organisation’s reputation? Are you confident that your ways of working stand up to external scrutiny?Newspaper headlines

At Fiveways we are passionate about ensuring charities are as effective and efficient as possible. Therefore, we are concerned that the increasing scrutiny of charities has the potential to seriously damage organisations’ carefully built reputation with users, donors and other stakeholders, including the general public.

We have been advising charities to prevent and be prepared to respond to external criticism for several years. During that time it has become apparent that many organisations are not ready to deal with criticism – regardless of whether it is merited. Some know that they need to make some changes, but are not sure where to start; others have yet to acknowledge that their practices and understanding of compliance are leaving them vulnerable to criticism.

Based on this experience we have developed a unique Stress Test for trustees and senior staff, to help future-proof your organisation’s reputation from external criticism and ensure that your charity is as efficient and effective as possible.

The Stress Test is an independent, confidential and supportive enquiry into areas of your organisation’s policy and practice that could be vulnerable to criticism. Following our focussed external review of your work, we will promptly provide you with a report detailing potential risks, alongside positive and practical recommendations to mitigate them.

The Stress Test can be focussed on the following areas:

  • Governance – including (but not restricted to) senior executive pay and benefits, trustee engagement and responsibilities, the approach taken to reserves, regulatory compliance, and alignment of strategy with operations and trustees with staff.
  • Fundraising – including fundraising methods, donor communication policies, corporate partnerships, compliance with new regulations, expenditure and return.
  • Expenditure – including investments, supplier procurement, expenses and inefficiency.
  • Stakeholder experience – including service quality, whether services make a difference, accessibility, complaints, and value for money.
  • Integrity – including honesty about claims made, transparency, acting out stated values, duty of care to staff and service users, and overall charity effectiveness.

The Stress Test is a vital starting point to protect your charity’s reputation, and ensure your organisation does not pique the interest of a critical media. Prices for the test range from £2,000 (plus VAT) for a full review of one of the areas above to £7,500 (plus VAT) for all five.

We also offer a short “snap shot” diagnostic test for £820 (plus VAT). This takes an overview of your organisation to reveal possible areas of vulnerability enabling you to either prioritise your own efforts, or identify which of Fiveways’ full Stress Tests would be most beneficial for your organisation.

For more information or to discuss the Fiveways Charity Stress Test in detail please email Justin on or call him on 07930 395661.

Read about how Missing People benefitted from our Integrity Stress Test.

Read how a leading mental health charity benefited from our Governance Stress Test.