Useful Sector Resources

Where to start?

There is a huge amount of free or low cost advice, resources, training and consultancy available to charities, social enterprises and not-for-profits. Below are links to a few we find useful and relevant


  • The Association of Chairs* - supports Chairs of charities and non-profit organisations to lead their boards effectively
  • Charity Commission have launched a free practical guide for recruiting trustees
  • Trustee Recruitment Cycle - Guidance, tools and tips to help you recruit trustees and diversify your board from Reach Volunteering
  • Clore Social Leadership Programme* - develops future leaders in the social sector
  • The Confidence Framework - a free interactive tool designed by Realising Ambition to support sector leaders and individual organisations to identify areas of strength and areas for improvement.
  • Cranfield Trust* - matches charities up with pro bono business expertise from management consultants
  • Directory of Social Change – provide leadership training through both public courses and in-house consultancy.
  • HRNet - free Human Resources advice and information from Cranfield Trust for charities and social enterprises based in England and Wales
  • North East Skills Sharing- encourages and promotes skills sharing between local businesses and not-for-profit organisations in Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, Durham and Tees Valley.
  • Pilotlight * - free tailored strategic planning support for charities and social enterprises from senior business people
  • Reach Volunteering* - provides a free service for charities, recruiting skilled volunteers and trustees
  • Skillsbridge * - supports voluntary and community sector organisations with a coordinated programme of professional volunteering
  • Getting on Board - a list of free trustee recruitment resources including sample adverts, job descriptions, interview questions and induction packs.


There are several resources which may be helpful to learn more about safeguarding:

Evaluation, impact and learning:



Social Enterprise:

  • Social Enterprise UK * - from building markets to large scale public facing campaigns, SEUK the membership body for social enterprise, exists to amplify the voice of their members and get social enterprise on the radars of decision makers across sectors
  • Inspire to Enterprise- offers free-to-access social enterprise support, information and advice
  • Spring Impact (formerly International Centre for Social Franchising) * - supports social solutions to replicate their work at scale
  • School for Social Entrepreneurs - offers courses to help individuals start, sustain, and scale social enterprises, charities and community projects
  • UnLtd * - supports social entrepreneurs with awards, events and resources


  • The Catalyst*- free services and funding to transform social impact through digital
  • Cast - supports social technology ventures to grow and access finance and talent
  • Data Orchard* - provide a free tool to help you assess how data savvy your organisation is and identify areas for improvement. You can choose between a short 5 minute survey or the full assessment, which takes about 20 minutes to complete.
    Media Trust* - run a UK-wide digital skills training programme delivered through local masterclasses, mentoring and online learning.
  • Charity Digital (formerly Tech Trust) - offers donated and discounted software, email marketing and foreign exchange services for UK charities.
  • Reach Volunteering* - run a training programme to increase digital expertise on charity boards
  • How to understand web users’ needs and building a Digital Workforce toolkit from NCVO Knowhow Nonprofit.
  • Superhighways* - Helping small charities do more digital; has a useful cheat sheet on applications for digital Comms here.
  • Guide to choosing the right CRM from Charity Digital

Communication and Campaigning:

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  • Campaign Bootcamp* - supports campaigners with intensive training and networking
  • Campaigns Collective - provide a helpful guide to what campaigners can and can't do under the UK Lobbying Act
  • CharityComms - membership network for communications professionals working in UK charities with free to access communications guides, templates and reports.
  • Constructive Voices- an NCVO initiative offering to link charities up with journalists to tell positive stories
  • The Conversation* - an independent source of news and views, sourced from the academic and research community
  • Datakind * - links data scientists with not-for-profits to help them use data in support of their mission. DataKind also runs Office Hours where you can ask specific questions about a project or your data, or can pick a data expert's brain about what's possible. Office Hours runs on the first Wednesday of every month from 5-8pm. Sign up to participate here.
  • Directory of Social Change – provide training and publications, as well as information and analysis on issues affecting the sector through their own policy work
  • The Edge Fund - provide a helpful list of campaigning resources listed by issue including links to blog posts, guides, tips and checklists
  • Free digital training courses from Google
  • Knowhow Nonprofit digital skills toolkit
  • Involvetoolkit for involving people in decision-making
  • Media Trust* - provides training and consultancy in all aspects of media, and matches skilled volunteers with charities
  • Sheila McKechnie Foundation* - supports campaigners with training, awards and advice. SMK have developed Freedom to Campaign, a guide to campaigning in relation to the Lobbying act
  • Practical advice on how to create films from CharityComms. Includes setting up in-house production through to commissioning and working with agencies.
  • Use Twitter - a guide for NGOs


  • The Edge Fund - provide a helpful list of fundraising resources including links to toolkits, guides, training and funder databases
  • nfp Synergy - a comprehensive beginner's guide to fundraising for small organisations
  • Charities Aid Foundation - 'Fundraising Fundamentals' a free toolkit for small to medium sized charities
  • Directory of Social Change – provide a range of directories, including the Directory of Grant Making Trusts, and how-to fundraising publications and courses. Also provide the Funds Online (previously trustfunding) database.
  • Fundraising for first timers - a beginner's guide produced by Arts Council Wales aimed at organisations or charities that are starting out on their fundraising journey

Legal advice and support:

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI):

You can also find a detailed list of helpful resources and articles about inclusion and diversity and can listen to recordings from from our event on Recruiting for Diversity.

Environment and Food sustainability:

  • Julie's Bicycle - working with arts organisations to help them measure, manage and reduce their environmental impacts
  • Good Food at Work * - guidance from Sustain on how to ask your organisation to sign up to a healthy and sustainable food policy
  • Food Systems Academy * - an open education resource for sharing knowledge and increase the public’s understanding of our food system

Community and user engagement:

How to. . .


For more tools and resources for charities, social enterprises and community groups, check out NCVO's KnowHow knowledge and e-learning hub.

Sector supporters:

  • Arts Council England - funding, advice and tools for the arts sector in England
  • Arts Council of Northern Ireland- the funding and development agency for the arts in Northern Ireland
  • Arts Council of Wales - Wales' funding and development organisation for the arts
  • Association of Independent Museums* - connects, supports and represents independent museums and galleries
  • Clinks *- supports, represents and campaigns for the voluntary sector working with offenders
  • Creative Scotland- the public body that supports the arts in Scotland
  • Directory of Social Change- provides training courses, publications, online funding databases and research for the charity sector
  • Locality* - national network for community-led organisations. Its Lifeboat programme supports member organisations in financial or organisational difficulty.
  • Museums Association* - the membership organisation for everyone working museums, galleries and heritage
  • NAVCA- national membership charity for local infrastructure
  • NCVO- research, resources and training for voluntary sector organisations in England
  • NICVA- support for voluntary sector organisations in Northern Ireland
  • SCVO- support for voluntary sector organistions in Scotland
  • Small Charities Coalition* - support for UK charities with income below £1m
  • WCVA- support for voluntary sector organisations in Wales

*these organisations have been funded by a grant from Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.