The directors of NTT Fundraising have said that they have signed a voluntary arrangement with their creditors and made some redundancies as part of “restructuring” the company following a “challenging” 2016.
The directors of telephone fundraising agency NTT Fundraising told Civil Society News that the company had agreed a company voluntary arrangement regarding repayment of debts with a number of its creditors as part of a “restructuring of the business following a very challenging year in 2016”.
David Clark, managing director and Natalie Bailey, client services director at NTT, said that the voluntary arrangement, the notice of which was published on Companies House yesterday, did not mean that the company was going into liquidation, and said they were still “optimistic” about the future.
“It’s all just part of a restructuring really, off the back of the last 18-months to two years,” said Bailey. “Just to make sure that everything is as strong as it can be to move forward.”
“We sat down with all the stakeholders and just negotiated with them how we could best carry on,” said Clark. “It’s been a pretty exhausting process but we’re through to the other side now and everything is looking good for the future”.
According to its most recent set of small company accounts made up to 31 December 2015, NTT had fixed assets of £175,199 and amounts falling due to creditors within one year of £969,051.
Cuts to the Research and Development team
Clark said that, as part of this “restructuring”, NTT would be refocusing predominantly on its fundraising services and, as a result, had been forced to "take some funding away from our Research and Development department” to focus more on its “day-to-day work”.
“We’ve had to cut funding to our research and development department in order to focus more on our day-to-day activities, but that hasn’t affected our fundraising work with any of our clients,” said Clark. “We’ve had to get rid of our R and D department, as we were building on some other products that weren’t really related to our core business model. Unfortunately that’s where we’ve had to make some cuts”.
Neither would give exact figures as to how many staff had been let go with the closure of the research and development department.
Clark and Bailey said that the agreement also meant that the organisation had been able to restructure some debt repayments being made to creditors.
“There were a few things going on with the landlord that we wanted to sort out and tidy up. We also wanted to restructure some of the debt and solidify things going forward, and this arrangement was the most productive way of going about doing that,” said Bailey.
Both directors said that the arrangement was the result of the ongoing “volatility” in the sector, and the time it has taken for charities to “work out their fundraising strategy” after the media scandals of 2015.
“The fundamental challenge of the last year was the volatility in what we were doing and the way in which we were doing it. The early part of last year was particularly challenging," said Clark.
"Fundraising has changed and it’s taken charities awhile to work out their fundraising strategy and data is going to look like. Volume has been up and down and the whole thing has been very unpredictable, but I don’t think we’ve been alone in seeing that.”