New publication challenges charities to rethink their reserves strategy

22nd June 2012

A new publication on the strategic management of charity reserves, by Charity Finance Group, ACEVO, the Institute of Fundraising and Sayer Vincent, has been launched today. Beyond Reserves challenges charity trustees and managers whether they are using reserves effectively – or if they could be made to work harder for the charity and its beneficiaries.

Managing charity reserves has traditionally been viewed as the preserve of the finance team; however, it impacts on all parts of the organisation. Beyond Reserves is a collaborative effort between the four organisations to reflect this wider group of stakeholders and includes insights and case studies from chief executives, finance and fundraising directors from a range of organisations.

Caron Bradshaw, CEO, Charity Finance Group, commented: “Traditionally reserves have tended to be viewed as being for a ‘rainy day’. It's been a really tough economic climate for the past few years and this has prompted many finance professionals to challenge these traditional views as they've encountered reluctance to spend reserves or confusion on how best to use them.

“CFG encourages senior managers and trustee boards to question how they can be more dynamic in their approach to managing reserves. We believe this publication will help discussions around reserves move away from ‘have we got enough for x months’ operating or to wind up?’ to the much more effective ‘are we using these in the best way possible?’”

Peter Lewis, CEO, Institute of Fundraising, commented: “Reserves are a crucial part of any charity’s make up and we hope that this publication will enable fundraisers to gain a wider understanding of the role reserves play in supporting the generation of strategic funds.”

Sir Stephen Bubb, CEO, ACEVO, commented: “In these challenging times, it is important that organisations are making effective use of all their resources. This publication will support our members to understand the strategic importance of reserves and how reserves can be managed to support charitable activities and delivery of services”.

Kate Sayer, Partner, Sayer Vincent, commented: “It is important for charities to have a strategic approach to their reserves, rather than holding on to funds for a rainy day. Charities must move beyond this thinking and look at all the ways in which they can manage risks, with financial reserves as a last resort. ”

- Ends -

Notes to Editors:

1. CFG is the charity that champions best practice in finance management in the voluntary sector. Our training and development programmes enable finance managers to give the essential leadership on finance strategy and management that their charities need. With more than 1,700 members, managing over £19bn, we are uniquely placed to challenge regulation which threatens the effective use of charity funds. For more information, please see

2. The Institute of Fundraising’s mission is to support fundraisers, through leadership, representation, standards setting and education, to deliver excellent fundraising. Members are supported through training, networking, the dissemination of best practice and representation on issues that affect the fundraising environment. The Institute of Fundraising is the largest individual representative body in the voluntary sector with 5300 Individual members and 350 Organisational members.

3. ACEVO is the professional body for third sector chief executives.
We connect, develop, support and represent our members, to increase the sector’s impact and efficiency. We promote a modern, enterprising third sector, and call upon organisations to be:

• Professional and passionate in achieving change and delivering results
• Well-led, with a commitment to professional development, training and diversity
• Well-governed and accountable, with robust and fit-for-purpose systems to protect independence and enable effective decision-making
• Enterprising and innovative, taking an entrepreneurial approach to funding issues and striving for continuous improvement and sustainable development.

For more infomation, visit

4. Sayer Vincent are one of the UK’s leading auditors and advisors working solely for charities, social enterprises and not-for-profits. Our work focuses on making charities more effective through improved infrastructure, decision-making and governance.

5. A copy of Beyond Reserves can be found here.

6. For further information please contact:

Charity Finance Group
Melora Jezierska, policy and public affairs officer – Tel: 0207 250 8348

Institute of Fundraising
Andrew Keeling, PR Manager – Tel: 020 7840 1044

Sayer Vincent
Paul Stirrat, Marketing Manager – Tel: 020 7841 6360

  • Email
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Linkedin

© Charity Finance Group / © Charities Resource Network / Registered Office: 15-18 White Lion Street, London, N1 9PG.
A Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered in England No. 3182826, Registered Charity No. 1054914, Registered VAT No. 945 6038 09.