Thursday, June 15, 2017

Third Sector Says the RSPCA is a Dog's Dinner

Over at Third Sector, which covers UK nonprofits and charities, columnist Craig Dearden-Phillips says The RSPCA is turning into a dog's dinner:

In case you haven't been watching the news, the RSPCA has just parted with its third chief executive in the past five years. The official line is that Jeremy Cooper has moved on to pursue other business opportunities, but there is a great deal of speculation that there has been another major bust-up among trustees.

... When things go wrong at the RSPCA, it makes you wonder what the hell might be going on everywhere else. This spells trouble for the third sector as a whole. The RSPCA being in the newspapers is, in reality, all of us in the newspapers. We all look as rubbish, as you do right now. I am sorry, but this just isn't on.

The second thing to say to say to the trustees is that you should remember what's at stake here. Your organisation has tens of thousands of members and an annual income of more than £140 million. Generations of Britons love you because they love animals.

Now, I understand that there are big differences among you about how to make this mission real. But show me a board without such disagreements. Public feuds put at risk the very organisation to which you all wish to lay claim.

Carry on as you are and there will be no RSPCA. All the money will migrate to better-run animal charities.

This brings me to my third message: sort out your governance. You allow up to 25 people on your board, but that’s about 15 too many. The most effective charities have been shrinking and modernising their boards for 20 years now.

For Americans not familiar with the term "dog's dinner" or "dog's breakfast", see here.

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