White Paper – Seizing New Opportunities In Difficult Times

Welcome to the first Connect Assist Discussion Paper of 2012.

In the previous six papers, we examined multiple aspects of how services and civil society organisations can best prepare themselves to serve more people while using fewer resources.

The underlying theme has been that charity, voluntary and other civil society organisations must face the new realities of world recession, the current UK economic environment and the Coalition Government’s comprehensive spending review. This is not a temporary crisis. A fundamental shift has occurred. For civil society leaders and managers, now is the time to act on the challenges – and opportunities – of a new future.

That is why we now turn to the question of how to translate an understanding of the evolving landscape and how to respond to it, into constructive action and positive outcomes.

This paper focuses on the Children & Families Sector, which has been particularly hard hit by funding cutbacks at a time when needs are growing fast. How can you respond creatively to recessionary pressures? We suggest that the answer is to make smarter use of your resources, specifically by adopting a multi-channel approach to service delivery – which means, in addition to seeing people face to face, engaging in two-way communication via any or all of the phone, Internet, mobile, live chat or a Facebook portal.

Digital delivery can achieve significant cost savings. But the benefits go much further, helping you reach more users and empower them to make the very best of what you have to offer.

To access the full paper download here

About the authors :

Patrick Nash has worked in civil society and social enterprise for his whole career, establishing 14 services, social enterprises and cooperatives. He set up Connect Assist to help services improve their efficiency and impact, to provide transformational help lines and online platforms to deliver feedback and insight, and to engage with the communities that charities serve.

Duncan Fisher has worked in the children and family sector for 15 years. He created and directed the Fatherhood Institute and set up www.dad.info, the most used UK website for fathers. He created the Kids in the Middle campaign for better services for families in conflict, backed by 24 Agony Aunts from the national media. He was awarded an OBE for services to children in 2009.

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