Implementing Business Continuity Management within Not-for-Profit and Charitable Organisations

It is increasingly being recognised that there is a need for the Not for Profit (NFP) and Charitable groups to introduce business continuity management into their organisations, especially in the light of corporate governance requirements, increasing economic pressures in the sector from donors and unprecedented frequent major emergencies, requiring an humanitarian response. A glaring example of this would be the current refugee and mass migration crisis occurring throughout the Middle East and its knock-on effect on Europe.

These days, NFP and Charity Sector organisations tend not to be homogenous in nature and many are increasingly operating in a multi-national, multi-cultural environment where the issue of managing across cultures must be addressed.  NFP and Charity Sectors are also extremely reliant on the expertise and good will of their managerial and professional staff and it is vital that their cultural issues are harnessed for the good of their organisation.

The approach that would need to be taken within the NFP and Charitable sectors to successfully introduce Business Continuity Management (BCM) will be for those responsible for their organisation’s Business Continuity to adopt and utilise best practice methodologies and tactics to address their organisational needs. This would help to ensure that the correct preparations, plans and procedures are in place for dealing with any possible disruptions that could affect the organisation’s ability to operate at optimum level. A robust and exercised BCM system will allow NFP and Charities to become more effective in reducing the impact of a disruption on their organisations and as a result allow them to become more robust. Biscon believes that increased awareness in these areas would allow the BCM lead to make the case and be able to fully engage and involve their senior management and staff at all levels within their organisations in introducing a successful BCM system and increase their resilience.

The introduction of Business Continuity Management within NFP and Charitable sectors needs to be addressed through a coherent change management programme based on the supposition that such a programme would affect the fundamental operation of the organisation. The successful introduction of BC management system using change management processes would allow those responsible for BCM, Senior Managers and Staff to gain a vision of what they need to achieve, the dimensions of their focus, the approaches that need to be taken and recognise what the benefits to the organisation will be. In implementing BCM, NFP and Charitable organisations also need to take into account the arguably unique pressures and the priorities that apply within their sectors and address how they can be overcome.

Currently, many NFP and Charitable organisations, especially those that deal with beneficiary emergencies, have a tendency to hold the belief that, as they are expert in dealing with the emergencies affecting their beneficiaries, they will be able to deal with any disruptive incidents affecting them on an ad hoc basis rather than to address their BCM planning requirements in advance. An example from real life that illustrates the effects of this belief is what happened in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake in 2009 where aid agencies that were based on the island were unable to fully operate for a number of weeks due to the loss of all of their facilities which meant they were unable to recover from their own disruptions. This had the effect of causing excessive delays in their being able to fulfil their organisational core commitments of assisting their beneficiaries. Had BCM measures been in place they could arguably have addressed many aspects of this situation. Most of these organisations have now focussed on or are addressing their need for BCM programmes in order to make them more resilient in the future. Examples of those measures have included introducing group-wide Organisational Resilience programmes and having in place liaison, mutual aid agreements and coordination mechanisms with other public sector, NFP and charitable organisations in order to address their business continuity management needs.

How can Biscon help?
Biscon Planning Limited is a leading and well respected independent supplier of Risk and Business Continuity Management requirements, who have expertise experience, and access to specialist knowledge. Biscon have successfully introduced and implemented business continuity strategies, policies and plans into many organisations through recognising both commonalities and differences in their approach and using their knowledge, personal experience and industry best practices to facilitate the successful implementation of your BCM system.

At Biscon, we do not believe in a one-size-fits-all approach and so create bespoke plans that are tailored to suit the individual needs of our clients. A BCP delivered by Biscon would help your organisation meet its core objectives of maintaining its operations following any acute disruption to your normal activities. Our programmes of work can deliver such requirements as an operational Risk Register, a Business Impact Analysis that highlights the impact on functions and activities and a comprehensive Business Continuity Management Plan.

Biscon can provide you with a FREE ‘Health Check’ of your current levels of resilience; just give us a call to arrange yours.
If you need assistance with any aspect of your Business Continuity programme, then call Biscon on 01453 889250 or email Jim Nield at jimnield@biscon.co.uk. Also see our website; www.biscon.co.uk for further information.