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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?
Taken on Trust is a new report into awareness and the effectiveness of charity trustees in England and Wales. At 92 pages it is a lengthy read, but it includes a wealth of insights into the role of trustees
Fundraising and Market Consultant
Marketing Consultant
Major Giving Consultant
The fourth annual Stephen Lloyd Awards are now open for entries, inviting applications from early-stage innovative projects focused on delivering real systemic social change in a sustainable manner. Entrants have an eight-week application window which closes on Friday 6 April 2018.
Let's all pull together
Steering a board to new goals: Crossways Community
Office Manager
Trust applications to fund new accommodation for patients’ families: COSMIC
Increase the chances of success
Present your personality
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)
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!
You're good, but could you be better?
Make your communications compelling
Develop a communications strategy: The Richmond Charities
Bid Writing and Prospect Research Consultant
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
Chairman
Market Research Consultant
Individual Giving Consultant
Bid Writing Consultant
Gain access to a wider market
In our increasingly complex society, we now need an astonishing array of policies to cover every conceivable (and occasionally inconceivable!) eventuality.
A big “thank you” to everyone who sent me an actual Christmas card in 2017 – and also to the handful of people who (unless they were very clever!) seem to have sent me a genuinely personal e-card.
Fundraising and Marketing Consultant
Governance and Strategy Consultant
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. 
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
Have confidence in your fundraising plans
Fundraising strategy training and development day for whole fundraising team: Weston Park Cancer Charity
Directing the way forward: St Francis Leprosy Guild
I recently attended the Third Sector Briefing on GDPR and was quite surprised by how many charities, according to the show of hands, admitted to not being prepared for Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into effect in just a few months’ time.
Our partners Eastside Primetimers have published their latest Good Merger Index, a comprehensive look at charity mergers and consolidation activity.
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
Achieve alignment in your leadership
Develop the International Board: Mission Without Borders International
Better messaging to a remote audience: Shropshire Rural Communities Charity
Consultant
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.
I felt privileged to be invited to the recent launch of The Henry Smith Charity’s new funding strategy – not least because we were informed that this resulted from the Charity’s first strategic review in 400 years!
Individual giving audit: Weston Park Cancer Charity
Don't be afraid to ask
The annual conference of EUConsult (the European network of consultant to the not-for-profit sector) proved a wonderful opportunity for reflection, refreshment and learning, this time in the splendid surroundings of the Angelicum University in Rome.
Short term solutions
Bid Writing and Prospect Research Consultant
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.
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.
Build supportive relationships
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.
Market research to inform expansion of service: Family Support Work
Who do you think you are talking to?
Reach your potential support
Better messaging to a remote audience: Shropshire Rural Communities Charity
Show the difference you're making
Finance Manager
Fundraising Consultant
Research and develop a retention strategy for care home staff: Pilgrims’ Friend Society
Do you remember having to do homework for your first day of the new school year: ‘What I did in my summer holidays’. Maybe 'What I learned in my summer holidays' is more valuable? Either way, I'm sure my favourite English teacher, Miss Lovatt, would say this post is 30 years' overdue.
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.
Market Research Consultant
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
Provide an interim Development Director: LAMDA
Expect the unexpected
Management Consultant
Find the right person for that hard-to-fill senior post
Associate Consultant
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
The Heritage Lottery Fund is now offering Resilient Heritage grants to organisations in the UK who want to build their capacity, or achieve strategic change to improve the management of heritage.
Prospect Research Consultant
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!
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...
Senior Consultant
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.
Develop your knowledge and skills
Addressing the responsibilities of the modern trustee: Britain Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
Don’t get caught up in the end-of-budget-year buying frenzy. Think ahead, and spend on things that will give you a head start on next year.
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.
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.
As a former CEO of a smaller sized charity relying heavily on individual giving, I fully understand the concern felt by many small and medium sized charities regarding the implementation of the new Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and e-Privacy Regulation coming into effect in May 2018.

The answer's yes.

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