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12 Days of Christmas


There is commonly a misunderstanding that Xmas for Voluntary groups is a quiet time with little or nothing to do!    Nothing could be further from the reality of the situation.  Below are just 12 things Voluntary Organisations should do leading up to Xmas

Christmas Wrapping before closing down for Christmas for voluntary groups things to consider.  Thinking that it is wind down time and leaving things until the New year results in not an insurmountable number of things to do, but limited time with grant-aid applications to be finalised and submitted; monitoring reports to produce; reconciliation of accounts to present for audit; annual reports to be written; AGM to prepare for  all generally by the end of a fiscal year leaving about 12 weeks to do and get and get everything done.    A few check list items before the festive season will save a lot of time and hassle  even costs, in trying to play catch-up in the New Year so as to have everything ready in good time or even within demanded time schedules.


  1. Ensure all accounts are up-to-date, (including income & expenditures vouchers); reconciled and ready for Auditors to produce final accounts;​

  2. If not already done, assimilate all supporting evidence for quarterly/half yearly monitoring required by funders produce monitoring report;

  3. Reviewing current funding streams (especially if any funding comes to an end in '17/'18); 

  4. Research new potential funders for both capital and revenue ('core') funding;

  5. Review current project(s) to see if any further diversification can be achieved adding value to the work and potentially attracting other new potential funders;

  6. Begin to review expenditure/overheads for the year-end to see if costs and be reduced/rationalised to help budgets;

  7. Begin to review budgets for both each project and overall work of the organisation and tweak, as necessary;

  8. Check and see if any sources of funding have 'under-spends' where applications to be made for additional monies - caution, you need scheme to be ready, delivered and expenditure completed by end of fiscal year 31st March;

  9.  When was your Business or Development Plan last reviewed? If out of date, start drafting update for line management and trustees/committee to approve;

  10. Check to ensure all your literature, pamphlets, leaflets, brochures etc are up to date and revise, as necessary, to ensure suitable, effective and accurate material is available and sent out in 2017;

  11. Ensure all assets, especially expensive equipment and materials bought during the year and logged in an inventory, (for insurance purposes), including make, model and serial numbers. In addition, security mark all property for security and identification

  12. Ensure all Xmas and New Year leave agreed in advance to enable cover, where necessary.

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