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First, what is diversity? Diversity is ‘the fact of many different types of things or people being included in something’. So how do we apply this when looking to build a successful team, or board of trustees? How do we know who to include?
A new Carers Innovation Fund has been launched to help finance innovative ways of supporting unpaid carers.
Anglican Communion Office
Action Planning has an extensive team of outstanding and highly-experienced Associate Consultants. This month we are delighted to introduce – and welcome - one of the newest members of our network, former Oxfam CEO Mark Goldring.
Fundraising and Market Consultant
Marketing Consultant
Major Giving Consultant
Applications for the People’s Postcode Lottery Dream Fund opened this week.
Are you a charity that helps women enter the workplace? If so, you may wish to join forces with Futures for Women to help disadvantaged women in the UK attain their career ambitions and become financially independent.
Let's all pull together
Steering a board to new goals: Crossways Community
New Year is the perfect time to ‘health check’ not just ourselves, but our charities too. And what better way than with an awayday? Action Planning Associate Karen Morton tells us how we can “hold the space”.
Office Manager
Trust applications to fund new accommodation for patients’ families: COSMIC
Increase the chances of success
Present your personality
Anglican Diocese of Oxford
What does relationship fundraising look like in today’s world? And how should charities be balancing short-term need with lifetime value? By putting our supporters first, argues Emily Petty, valuing every way they engage with us and focusing on the experiences that they have.
Approach big challenges methodically
Capital appeal feasibility study: Weston Park Cancer Charity
Funding planning study for 2020 Lambeth Conference: The Anglican Communion
Over the last few years I feel we have been in a ‘great depression’ within the charity sector. This has been fuelled by numerous negative media stories and more recently the introduction of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)
Working in the voluntary sector, we spend most of our time thinking about and helping others - it’s in the job description, after all! Just occasionally however, maybe we should take a moment to really think about what we do and the good that we do for charity. And give ourselves a well-deserved pat on the back. Not often of course… maybe just once a year, at Christmas!
All of us, obviously, want things to go smoothly at our charity; but what to do when things go wrong? How we handle a crisis could well mean make or break. Expert Felicia Willow gives her ‘five priorities’ to best manage a crisis – and come out the other side!
Action Planning has worked with hundreds of Christian charities and churches over the years, and one of the themes that frequently emerges is that it is really hard to raise funds for Christian causes.
One of Action Planning’s regular training seminars, the event focussed on how churches can practically approach a capital fundraising appeal of any size. Here, Sean explains some of the main learning points that arose from the day.
Organisations involved in tackling climate change will soon be able to apply for funding from The National Lottery Community Fund. The UK’s biggest funder of community activity has launched a new £100 million Climate Action Fund.
Community groups in Wales have two more weeks to apply for funding from the new £1million Co-Op Foundation fund.
You're good, but could you be better?
Clarifying a CEO’s needs and expectations: london institute for contemporary christianity (licc)
Make your communications compelling
Develop a communications strategy: The Richmond Charities
Local community projects in London are being offered the opportunity to apply for match funding of up to £10,000, thanks to a joint initiative between Crowdfunder and Trust for London.
As fundraisers, we all know how difficult it is to get through the door of a corporate. So when we do, it’s crucial we use the opportunity effectively. Fundraising expert Layla Moosavi Rivers tells us how to prepare to succeed.
Bid Writing and Prospect Research Consultant
Do you struggle to get noticed by the right people?
Having recently read 79 applications for one role, and 6 for another, I have become a bit blasé about ‘passionate’, ‘committed’, ‘high achiever’, ‘driven’, ‘results orientated’ ….. you see the same words and phrases coming up again and again.
Management Consultant & Mentor
Market Research Consultant
Individual Giving Consultant
Bid Writing Consultant
Gain access to a wider market
Getting together to give is not new. People have acted collectively to donate their money or time for generations. But over the last decade there has been renewed interest in “giving circles”. Philanthropy specialist Rob John discusses why this is important for the charity sector.
In our increasingly complex society, we now need an astonishing array of policies to cover every conceivable (and occasionally inconceivable!) eventuality.
One of your charity Trustees (or ex-Trustees) may seem like the perfect candidate to join your staff team. However, as expert Felicia Willow explains as she ‘navigates the minefield’, employing Trustees is not straightforward, and in some cases not even possible.
The UK’s biggest online match funding campaign, The Christmas Challenge from The Big Give, has extended its deadline for applications by a week to next Friday, 19th July.
Governance & Strategy Consultant
It’s August, it’s Summer and it’s too hot to be thinking about recruitment. Right? Wrong! With one of the peak times of year for recruitment only a few weeks away, charities should already be starting to think about and getting ready to hire the best and hottest new candidates.
Associate Consultant
Poor trustees – always being bashed these days! But these observations, from an experienced governance consultant, will help trustees and Chief Executives take an objective look at how they are doing, and take some simple steps today that will help avoid problems tomorrow. 
Almost every organisation will say that its people are its greatest asset. And yet far too many organisations pay lip service to ‘training and development’. Top athletes achieve astonishing feats – often more than they themselves believed possible, and often because of the support of their coach. How much more could your people achieve if properly coached? And what is coaching anyway?
Research and Bid Writing Executive
Develop a fundraising and marketing strategy: Every Child a Musician
Raising a congregation’s sights: Stanground and Farcet CofE Churches
Recognising your full fundraising potential: Care and Relief for the Young (CRY)
Understanding funding from a Christian perspective: Stewardship
Keeping a Fundraising Plan on Track: wycliffe bible translators
Maintaining a Steady Hand: british tinnitus association
Firm foundations for a fundraising strategy: Friends International
Have confidence in your fundraising plans
Fundraising strategy training and development day for whole fundraising team: WPCC
Helping a global charity find its local voice: JMM
Directing the way forward: St Francis Leprosy Guild
Back in January we published a case study on our work with Futures For Women, helping the 160-year-old charity to examine its relevance today and establish a vision and mission that would carry the charity forward with renewed vigour. Last week, we heard from FFW secretary Jane Hampson with some encouraging news.
Help create a high-performing Board: Weston Park Cancer Charity
Encouraging the board to open up: Crossways Community
The Charity Commission recently reviewed their ‘problem cases’, and came up with a list of the nine things that trustees most commonly don’t do, that could have prevented most of those cases happening at all
Understanding the real objective: Highway Trust
Passing control from a founder to a board: RNW
Achieve alignment in your leadership
Develop the International Board: Mission Without Borders International
A Whole New Goal: The Lacrosse Foundation
Organisations that help to cut food waste by redistributing surplus food to people in need are being invited to apply for grants from a new round of DEFRA funding.
The Government’s pledge to roll out 5G to the UK’s rural communities has been backed up by a £30million prize fund. Up to 10 5g research and development projects will be chosen for funding over the next two years.
Nesta Challenges is inviting charities and social enterprises to bid for grants from a £1m fund, called the Tech to Connect Challenge, launched to help the development of tech-based solutions to social isolation.
Imperial Health Charity
Any organisation that is dependent on one source for more than 30% of its income is at risk. Many charities are dependent on one source for 80% - 90% of their income! Diversification is the name of the game – but where to start? And how can we make sure it doesn’t all go horribly wrong? We explore some practical and pragmatic approaches.
For most organisations, major capital projects are not common occurrences – they only come along perhaps once every five to ten years. From a fundraising perspective, what’s the best way to prepare for this, in particular to ensure that ongoing revenue...
We turn our attention to the recruitment of a Chief Executive. But surely recruitment is recruitment isn’t it? Well, yes and no. Some posts need to be handled in very particular ways – especially in the early stages.
In recent issues we have considered the best approach for recruiting trustees, and Chief Executives. Now it is the turn of the Fundraising Director.
Perhaps we should start with ‘how not to recruit trustees’ – because frankly the wrong way is the most common way, yet there are some very good reasons why it’s the wrong way.
Flexible help for any challenging people problems
Individual giving audit: Weston Park Cancer Charity
Don't be afraid to ask
Short term solutions
Bid Writing and Prospect Research Consultant
If you are a charity CEO, you know you can’t do it all by yourself. Which is why the Leadership Team is so important. The most effective organisations are led by a committed, unified team sharing responsibility for the whole. Expert David Bull tells us why – and how to make your leadership team the best!
It is sad to see so many media outlets and commentators jumping on the Oxfam-bashing bandwagon – mostly with comment and posturing – so instead here is some practical advice about how to set up a framework for dealing with reputational risk – before disaster strikes.
Charities in the North of England can apply for a share of a £100,000 fund pot from a partnership of Northern Gas Networks (NGN), Northern Powergrid and Leeds Community Foundation.
Legacies are an important source of funding, yet more than half of charitable bequests are left by previously ‘unknown’ donors. Lucky? For the charity, yes. But effective legacy fundraising is about much more than luck. We look at the potential for your charity to develop a long-term, sustainable legacy fundraising strategy.
Lloyds Bank Foundation has announced its last round of Enable grants, offering up to £15,000 to help charities develop or trial new approaches to service delivery.
Long-term planning for a community gem: GRACE
Build supportive relationships
While management is often described as the coordination and organisation of business activities to meet a defined purpose, the management of people is not always valued. Yet as Action Planning Associate Eleanor Mitchell explains, it is the people within an organisation that create its success.
It was Warren Buffet who once said “It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it” – a statement that resonates more today than ever before; except these days when a damaging social media post can travel the world in a click of a mouse, it can only take five seconds.
Managing people’s performance is one of the key issues facing any charity. After all, in most cases the people are the charity. If, however, your organisation is faced with underperformance issues, HR professional Tracy Madgwick advises on how to manage these effectively.
Market research to inform expansion of service: Family Support Work
Who do you think you are talking to?
Assessing feasibility for expansion plan: St Mary’s Cogges
Clarifying a CEO's Needs and Expectations: LICC
Marketing and Communications in small charities has its own particular challenges and requirements. Expert Layla Moosavi advises that it’s about going back to basics, knowing your audience, reviewing your strengths and resources, focusing and prioritising, and planning, planning, planning.
Recognising your full fundraising potential: CRY
Reach your potential support
Better messaging to a remote audience: Shropshire Rural Communities Charity
Show the difference you're making
Finance Manager
UK heritage organisations are being invited to apply for grants worth £5million and more, as part of a new awards programme from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The Nationwide Building Society is awarding grants of between £10,000 and £50,000 to local housing projects that; prevent people from losing their home, help people into a home, and/or support people to thrive within the home environment.
Nesta Challenges is inviting charities and social enterprises to bid for grants from a £1m fund, called the Tech to Connect Challenge, launched to help the development of tech-based solutions to social isolation.
The Government’s Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) is inviting new community projects across England to apply for feasibility study grants of up to £40,000 to support renewable energy initiatives.
Small UK not-for-profit organisations working on international development projects can now ap-ply for a grant through the latest round of funding from the Department for International Devel-opment’s Small Charities Challenge Fund (SCCF).
The Fundraising Regulator has released a new Code of Practice that takes effect in October 2019. It is a big step forward in bringing together the existing Code and rule books into one, better written and better organised document.
A grant fund worth £60,000 has been made available to charities across the South of England to support community projects.
A grant fund worth £60,000 has been made available to charities across the South of England to support community projects.
Fundraising Consultant
Assess the effectiveness of your charity’s governance
Research and develop a retention strategy for care home staff: Pilgrims’ Friend Society
Detailed Salary Benchmarking: aid to the church in need
Preparing for the worst to enable the best: LWA
Does your Procurement Department always get you the best deal? We share some experiences of disastrous procurement processes – and one excellent one! 
I’ve been a professional project manager for over 20 years and freelance for about 10.  Because of that, I take it for granted that ‘project management matters’ and assume that everyone feels the same way.
In the wake of the recent crisis in the International Development sector following revelations of unacceptable behaviour by some staff, expert David Bull deliberates culture change to achieve safeguarding objectives, and advocates ten key elements to ensure a protective organisational culture.
Market Research Consultant
Pilgrims’ Friend Society
Reconsidering relevance in much changed world: FFW
If your organisation is planning to employ a fundraiser for the first time, here are some essential things to do - and some things to avoid - to maximise the chances of success.
Recruit a Head of Philanthropy: British Paralympic Association
Recruit a Chief Executive: Pilgrims’ Friend Society
Recruit trustees: One YMCA
Recruit a Chief Executive: Right Now Foundation
Screening for the ideal candidate - God TV
Helping to define a key role: RMHC
Provide an interim Development Director: LAMDA
Expect the unexpected
Management Consultant
Determining the appropriate salary for a job is not always easy, and also of course depends on what your organisation can afford to pay. Charity specialists action planning consider how to decide the right remuneration for a role, including salary benchmarking.
Find the right person for that hard-to-fill senior post
Andrew Betts, Director of Advantage Africa was very quick off the mark, by turning the piece in our last issue into a self-assessment questionnaire for his trustees.
Plot your course
Develop a long term sustainable strategic plan: Family Support Work
Develop options and plans for strategic growth: The Richmond Charities
Providing objectivity for an organisational review: Voluntary Action South West Surrey
Pinpointing priorities to realising potential: Burrswood Health & Wellbeing
A root and branch planning review: FoWA
Effingham Village Recreation Trust
Help your team play to their strengths
I was fascinated to read recently that Einstein’s ‘Theory of Happiness’ had been sold at auction for £1.19m. Spoiler alert – at the end of this piece I’m going to tell you what it is!
Action Planning gets asked to help with an extraordinarily diverse range of issues, from an equally diverse range of organisations. Take a look through our recent caseload, and see whether any of these resonate with some of the challenges you are facing in your charity.
Charities can now apply to be part of The Times’ 2019 Christmas Appeal. The successful appli-cants will be featured in articles running in the paper throughout the appeal, which runs over the Christmas period.
The most honest feedback I receive in life is after the final whistle is blown and I’m sitting in the pub with my mates.  For me, the feedback is often brutal as they take turns to analyse my football skills, detailing my ‘lack of pace’ in trying to keep up with the pacey 17-year-old...
Recent developments have affected the way in which payments from a trading subsidiary to its parent charity must be shown in the accounts. If your charity has a trading subsidiary – or you think perhaps it should have one – then you need to read this article by charity specialist lawyer David Kirby.
The Charity Governance Code recommends that the Boards of all charities – large and small – review their performance and effectiveness. Do you have a plan in place for doing that? And are you implementing the plan?! Felicia Willow discusses the many benefits of the process.
Steering a Board to New Goals: Crossways Community
Develop your knowledge and skills
Addressing the responsibilities of the modern trustee: Britain Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
Addressing the responsibilities of a modern trustee: Britain Yearly Meeting of the Religious society of friends (Quakers)
Getting together to give is not new. People have acted collectively to donate their money or time for generations. But over the last decade there has been renewed interest in “giving circles”. Philanthropy specialist Rob John discusses why this is important for the charity sector.
When it comes to publicising the work of your charity, a good website is essential. We hear from a lot of people who know this but feel hamstrung by cost, saying it will require £20k or more. Well, you might be encouraged to learn that our new website was designed, built and written for less than £10k.
Online content is the most cost-effective way to reach large numbers of people. But what is meant by ‘content’, what should it address, and what actually is a ‘content strategy’…and does your charity need one? Marketing professional Fiona Lewis helps explains!
An appeal for a major capital project is not an everyday occurrence for most organisations, and if this is outside the experience of all the key people (eg trustees, senior management team) it can be very difficult to know where to start.
This may seem an extraordinary topic to explore in a charity sector newsletter, but over the past 12 months Action Planning has worked with at least 6 organisations for whom this was a significant issue.
Charities pride themselves on making a difference, yet so often we seem to get caught in the rut of doing the same old same old – usually with fewer resources! How can we lift our eyes from the treadmill, and scan distant horizons?
One of the most powerful game-changers for an organisation serious about major donor fundraising is to look at everything through their donors’ eyes
The role carries a lot of responsibility, has legal and financial liabilities, can be extremely hard work, is frequently stressful, often under-valued… and it’s unpaid… So why on earth would anyone be a charity Trustee?! For a number of (very good) reasons, in fact…
Interviewed at the recent Christian Resources Exhibition, Chairman David Saint speaks candidly about how Action Planning started almost 30 years ago (spoiler alert, he was fired!), and what the organisation can offer to help charities.

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