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.


People:
  • 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.
  • Clore Social Leadership Programme* - develops future leaders in the social sector
  • Cranfield Trust* - matches charities up with pro bono business expertise from management consultants
  • 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
  • The Association of Chairs* - supports Chairs of charities and non-profit organisations to lead their boards effectively

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Evaluation, impact and learning:
  • Cultural Education Data Portal - resource by the Arts Council that brings together and provides easy access to data on children and young people at a local authority, regional and national level.
  • NCVO Charities Evaluation Service* - free tools and guidance on evaluation, learning and impact measurement
  • Community Evaluation Northern Ireland - provides information and resources on evaluation including publications and research reports.
  • Evaluation Support Scotland - provides practical support and access to impact and evaluation resources and tools.
  • Inspiring Impact- a set of free tools and resources designed to help non-profits navigate the world of impact measurement
  • IVAR* (Institute for Voluntary Action Research) - works to understand, support and strengthen the voluntary sector using action research
  • New Philanthropy Capital- a think tank and consultant to the charity sector, with lots of free research and publications 
  • Pro Bono Economics* - matches volunteer economists with charities wishing to address questions around measurement, results and impact
  • Centre for Youth Impact - a community of organisations committed to working together to progress thinking and practice around impact measurement in youth work and services for young people.
  • Brathay Research Hub Evaluation Toolkit - offer a free suite of resources on how to evaluate youth organisations
  • Museums Associations toolkit - a set of tools and resources for measuring social impact designed to help museums find the right approach for their participants and organisation. 

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Finance:
  • Charity Finance Group* - membership organisation offering training to the charity sector to develop leadership and financial management skills, understanding of topical financial issues, networking and knowledge sharing. 
  • CFG Small Charities Programme* - provides practical face to face and online finance training and resources for charities with an income of £1m or less 

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Start-ups:

Social Investment:
  • Good Finance - website helping charities & social enterprises navigate the world of social investment

  • The Social Investment Consultancy (TSIC) - social change strategy consultancy. Services include social impact assessment, charity revenue generation and business planning, investment readiness, and research.

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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
  • 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

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Digital:
  • Campaign Bootcamp* - supports campaigners with intensive training and networking
  • Cast - supports social technology ventures to grow and access finance and talent
  • Charity IT Association * - free independent tech advice for charities
  • 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

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Communication and Campaigning:

  • Constructive Voices- an NCVO initiative offering to link charities up with journalists to tell positive stories 
  • 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
  • Knowhow Nonprofit digital skills toolkit
  • Free digital training courses from Google
  • 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
  • The Conversation* - an independent source of news and views, sourced from the academic and research community
  • Campaigns Collective - provide a helpful guide to what campaigners can and can't do under the UK Lobbying Act

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Legal advice and support:

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Diversity and equality:

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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

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How to. . .

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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

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