Over the last two years, I've blogged a number of times about how charities can try to triage their internal risks from a No Deal Brexit and cut them down to size. However, as 31st October approaches inexorably under the leadership of Boris "Do or Die" Johnson, charities are understandably turning to what they can do for their beneficiaries.
My conversations with colleagues in the sector on Brexit have varied a great deal, but the majority have laudably focused on the prediction of negative economic and social consequences affecting beneficiaries and driving an upsurge in demand for services. Meanwhile most businesses, while aware of the broader economic context, naturally tend to focus on their internal operations to try and minimise risk.
What has recently struck me, however, is that many of the conversations I've had with charities don't seem to connect the need for solid internal Brexit planning as setting the foundation for future external delivery in the event of No Deal.
In short, the creation of a Brexit 'plan' for beneficiaries - such as how a charity might ramp up its activities at short notice or stockpile whatever resources it needs - has been remote from any internal planning, which has understandably focused on retaining people but implies continuing the status quo.
Maybe I'm speaking to the wrong people(!) because I would love to hear from charities who have made just these sort of forward plans.
Now Sir Stuart Etherington has written an Open Letter asking the Office for Civil Society to make an application to the Treasury for an unspecified sum to support frontline delivery. Any money that can be made available would be welcome, but it almost certainly won't be enough given competing demands and the need to distribute it widely to organisations across the country in a potentially short period of time.
There are 80 days until Brexit; charities need to be looking at their own delivery and how well set up they are for any significant increases in demand for their services. If the very worst predictions are to be believed No Deal could be, for some, akin to a natural disaster. Only it's one when we know what time this 'disaster' will strike months into the future. That is a window of opportunity that charities can grasp, and it doesn't necessarily need more money.
"In the event of a no-deal EU exit, it is very likely that many charities will be front and centre not only in providing an immediate response, but also in supporting communities up and down the country in the longer term,"