What is facilities management?

This page provides a brief introduction to the term "facilities management".

Many people who look after buildings and services and properties for charities may not even know that what they are doing is "facilities management"! 

A short definition of facilities management (FM) could be:

The aim of facilities management is to co-ordinate buildings and services to create the optimum working environment for staff and visitors.

Different types of FM

Facilities management is sometimes divided into two separate categories: "Hard FM" and "Soft FM":

Hard FM

Hard services includes such things as the maintenance of the building fabric, mechanical and electrical services and telecoms.

Soft FM

Soft FM is often used to describe the issues relating to the day-to-day running of services that help staff carry out their function, such as security, cleaning, catering, mail services, etc.

Key Areas of Responsibility and Skills:

The exact areas of responsibility taken on by a facilities manager may vary. Facilities managers may be responsible for all, or some of these functions within a charity:


  • Property Acquisition, Leasing and Disposal
  • Space Planning, Allocation, and Management
  • Architectural/Engineering Planning and Design
  • Engineering design of major systems
  • Construction Project Management
  • Relocations
  • Alterations, renovations
  • Project management
  • Building Management:
  • Day-to-day operations
  • Compliance with regulations 
  • Mechanical and electrical services
  • Maintenance and repair of buildings, grounds and building services
  • Energy management


  • Cleaning Services 
  • Pest and rodent control
  • Waste management
  • Security 
  • Catering & food services
  • Mail, messenger and print management
  • Telecommunications, data communications, wire and network management
  • Transportation - travel management, fleet management, and vehicle maintenance


  • Health and Safety 
  • Business Continuity
  • Disaster recovery
  • Procurement
  • Procurement for all of the above
  • Contract management

Not everyone who carries out the fm role within a charity may have 'facilities manager' in their job title - but fm plays a vital role in helping charities deliver their mission.