Review by Maureen McCulloch ACA, a Financial Manager and Freelance Trainer in the arts and voluntary sector (DSC, 2002, ISBN 1-903991-17-X £19.95 [£23.43 inc p&p*])
This is less a practical guide to financial stewardship than an analysis of the financial stewardship roles of both trustees and managers in charities. The book guides the reader through financial and corporate strategy planning rather than the day-to-day, or even month-to-month, running of the organisation. It advocates ?a rolling approach to resource management? rather than ?conventional annual budgeting? and discusses the means by which an organisation can set up the structures to cope with such an approach. This seems, at first, rather too academic to be relevant to many small to medium sized arts organisations; but it is an aspect of management which is often neglected when an organisation grows from the stage of being run by a group of like-minded friends who founded it to an incorporated charity with separate board and policies for everything. It can be easy at this point to lose the flexible, forward- looking management that tends to happen naturally in small, voluntary groups (albeit sometimes rather crisis driven). It would be wise for all trustees and managers to read this book and think about the practical implications of the theories analysed here. They could then perhaps channel their energies more effectively into ensuring that the organisation not only manages to achieve its objectives in the short and medium-term, but that it works towards long-term stability and effectiveness as well. The arts sector could have benefited greatly from this guide a decade ago! This is a book that should not sit on the finance department shelf. It needs to be read by the Board and all managers if it is to have the impact that it ought to have.
*For further information contact SAM?s Books (see below for details)