Teleconferencing for charities

Any organisation can benefit from teleconferencing, and its ability to hold flexible meetings quickly and cheaply. There are some particular benefits to charities.

The most important benefit of teleconferencing for many charities is that it's cheap. As you'll know if you work for one, charities are often dependent on uncertain income streams. They also want to keep costs as low as possible, so that there's as much money as possible available for the causes they support – the purpose of their existence. Teleconferencing can save huge amounts of money when compared to traditional meetings, avoiding travel and catering costs. Of course, teleconferencing services aren't free, but the cost of using them is outweighed by the savings. Meetupcall even offers special rates for charities, which they can access by calling to discuss.

As well as saving money directly, teleconferencing saves money by using much less staff time than meetings. Meetings often take up much more time than they need to, and make inefficient use of staff time. Teleconferencing allows the traditional meeting format, with a formal chair, minutes and long agenda, to be abandoned in favour of goal orientated discussion. Staff can then be back at their desks much quicker. This saves money, but it also helps improve morale. People working in charities tend to do so because they feel some affinity with the cause. This means they are often more likely than those in business to get frustrated by spending long periods in formal meetings that take them away from working on their core tasks. Teleconferencing helps them spend more time doing worthwhile work, helping the charity achieve more, and aiding staff retention and morale.

Charities are often able to be more flexible and innovative than traditional organisations, being outside the normal business or public sector rules. That means that the flexibility of teleconferencing is particularly suited to them, and often easy for them to implement too.

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Simon Moxon is founder and CEO of Meetupcall. A life-long geek turned entrepreneur currently having fun growing Meetupcall into a proper company.

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