Page 1: Introduction
One of the challenges facing every organisation today is how to make best use of its limited resources. In any aspect of business, there should be no room for poor use of resources through inefficiency, wasteful administration and poor co-ordination of activities. Nowhere is this more true than in the case of a charitable organisation. Money provided for good causes is at a premium – it needs to be used effectively because the beneficiaries are in urgent need.
This case study examines how War Child, one of this country’s fastest growing influential charities, ensures it works in an effective way.
Effective organisations are ones which have clear goals and overarching strategies. They know where they are going and establish methods of ensuring that these strategies are effectively put into practice.
War Child is an international aid agency dedicated to improving the lives of children affected by war around the world. War Child is involved in relief work, such as the delivery of emergency food and medical supplies into war zones or supporting those who have been forced to flee their homes because of conflict. War Child is also involved in developmental initiatives, such as the rehabilitation of war-traumatised children and 'education for peace' programmes. At the heart of War Child’s philosophy is the realisation that the war-scarred younger generation is the key to a peaceful future.
The start of War Child
Most charity organisations start out as good ideas - someone recognises the need for such an organisation and acts accordingly. For example, the organisation Shelter was set up in 1966 to help the many homeless people on the streets. The Toybox Charity was founded in 1991, by the Dyason family, who were horrified by a television documentary showing the plight of some of the 250,000 children orphaned by civil war in Guatemala. The charity has grown into a comprehensive rescue strategy for children who live on the streets of Guatemala City.
War Child was founded in 1993 by film makers Bill Leeson and David Wilson as an emotional response to the plight of children caught up in the war in the former Yugoslavia. Initially raising money through entertainment events and public appeals, War Child set out to bring immediate material help to children of all ages and ethnic backgrounds.
With a few old trucks and the help of a handful of unpaid volunteers, War Child began delivering food, clothing and medical equipment to wherever it was needed most. It also supplied musical instruments and CDs to young people and radio stations and initiated a diabetic programme supplying insulin and blood testing equipment throughout Bosnia. In all, thanks to significant financial support from the general public and the music and entertainment industries, War Child provided millions of pounds worth of aid to the former Yugoslavia.
The Overseas Development Agency also provided grants to War Child which were used to establish a mobile bakery.