Sometimes you do not have to be right about something to be very pleased with an outcome.
In 2013, when working with one of our membership charity clients, it was clear that the integrations and processes between the membership and finance systems were not optimal. The process of collecting and recording Gift Aid data was historically problematic and subject to many manual interventions.
Other factors connected to the functional operation of finance led to a hunch that Gift Aid might be worthy of further investigation. The original suggestion to the FD fell on deaf ears, but following a change of personnel in the Finance team, the new director decided to invest some effort in checking this out with analytical support from IT.
My original hunch that something might be wrong was based on a concern connected to the completeness and accuracy of the data collected from membership and its submission to the Inland Revenue. After six weeks or so of effort and analysis, what emerged was so much more exciting. Analysis uncovered that there was in excess of £800,000 of under-claimed Gift Aid, which the Inland Revenue confirmed could be paid to the charity.
As well as the obvious delight for all concerned, the learning I take from this is that it is not always necessary to have hard empirical evidence before investigating an issue. If it feels wrong, it probably is – or is at least worth digging deeper.
If your organisation is looking for support in reviewing its key business systems and processes, please get in touch.