Helping a small charity to grow

Running a small charity is both rewarding and challenging. Even more so when you are the only full time member of staff juggling the day to day activities and tasks, as well as keeping track of the overall direction of the charity.

From managing staff to reporting to trustees, applying for funding, overseeing current projects and managing finances, there is a lot for the CEO of a small charity to do!

Many of the charities in TimeBank’s Leaders Together project, which matches the leaders of small London based charities with mentors who can support them to grow, face these challenges. Often ploughing through day to day tasks, it’s hard for them to see the wood for the trees.

Rui Octavio is the co-founder and Chief Executive of Nutmeg Community, an award winning charity that aims to empower young people aged 11-25 to reach their full potential. The charity provides mentoring, organises community cohesion events, delivers workshops and promotes volunteering opportunities with young people across Barnet.  

Like many of the Leaders Together mentees, Rui came to the project hoping to be matched with a mentor who could provide support with project management, leadership skills, strategic planning, staff management and financial management. We matched him with Nasar Ramzan, the Director of Financials Practice at Kloud, a leading consultancy in cloud-based HR & Financials technology. Nasar already had experience of working with small charities and had a good idea of how he could help Rui keep tabs on all of the different moving parts involved in running a small organisation.

For Nasar, working with a small organisation was perfect: “I love working with small organisations as you can easily see the impact your advice is having. These organisations are agile and provide high value for money. Supporting them, and in particular Nutmeg Community, means rapid results and even more value for money for funding organisations or donors.”

Nasar worked with Rui to develop tools and processes that could enable him to see what was happening across the organisation. Firstly, he helped create a financial monitoring tool so Rui could easily see what was happening with the budgets for each project. They then worked on developing timelines and project management tools for each project, so it was clear how the organisation’s projects were progressing against milestones.

As well as freeing up Rui so he had more time to be moving the organisation forward, the tools and processes they created played a huge part in the organisation winning a tender bid from Genesis Housing Association to project manage a community fun day event. 

Rui says “As a result of Nasar’s help we have less overspend on our project budgets, our meetings and activities are a lot more results-orientated and it has helped me take a broader view of our work.”