I had the pleasure of visiting the Latin American Golden Years Day Centre (Centro Latinoamericano “Los Años Dorados”) in Lambeth last week to meet with the Co-ordinator, Jorge Morales.
I’m writing them up for a case study on the new Basis Project website, due to launch at the end of March, and several things about what Jorge said stood out.
Firstly, I was struck by how much emphasis he puts on the role of the organisation’s trustees. Recruiting new trustees to strengthen the board was one of the first things he did when he took on the role, and he really uses them. Some organisations, I think, underestimate the role of trustees but, even though their presence might not be felt in day-to-day work, I reckon that successful charities are almost always built on the foundation of an effective board.
The other thing that stood out for me about Golden Years was the fact that, with support from the local Health Trust, they had been able to get in a consultant to help their strategic planning. That process of having an external person come in, speak to users, staff and anyone else with an interest in the project, and then help develop some clear plans for the future is clearly extremely useful. It’s not always easy to get funding for such work, but some management consultants from other sectors might be willing to volunteer.