Charity and Social Enterprise Consultancy
Since our foundation in 1991, we have built a reputation as charity and social enterprise consultants passionate about helping our clients be more successful so that they can create the change they have as their vision.
We provide charities with the expert coaching, strategy and guidance that you need. We were an NCVO (National Council for Voluntary Organisations) approved charity consultancy from 1999 until 2013 when they stopped accreditation and we have delivered advice to a wide variety of charities and social enterprises from start ups to national names.
For start ups or new service development we can help you decide what legal structure you should be, should you be a Charitable Incorporate Organisation(CIO) or structure so you can issue community shares or own property? We can also test your idea using a range of techniques from creating a position document to get feedback to a full feasibility study.
For larger charities we can help with your corporate culture and ensuring you keep on track as you grow. Over the years we have raised millions of pounds to help with new buildings and projects. We consistently give clients the strategic and practical know-how that is required for success, whether it is measured by investment or on-going funding , improvement in reputation, levels of support or social enterprise income. This includes developing and evaluating collaborations between public sector bodies, such as the NHS and councils, and charities .
We believe that as voluntary organisations you need to be aware of the full range of funding opportunities including income generation and to have a broad funding strategy and as charity and social enterprise consultants we can help. This should include capitalising on opportunities that arise from the wider environment such as the government policy on localism. With our knowledge, understanding and expertise we are ideally placed to help with strategic thinking, forward planning, target setting and tailor-made steps, goals and objectives.
We are passionate about making your social impact clear and simple to track so that it creates a compelling story that will attract funding and support.
However it's not only consultancy and advice we offer, it's our tools and links that make us different. Mostly we’ve developed the tools because of an issue a client is facing. Our links come from our long history in the sector and our work with responsible organisations working in the private sector.
The inspire2aspire charity and social enterprise support model©
Stage one - free chat and advice
A free chat to see if we are the right people to help or whether, in fact, you could do it yourself and to see if we have a free tool that could help
Stage two – full costed proposal
If it does seem like we can help we have a longer chat or get your brief. If we need to we will ask more questions.
We will develop a fully costed proposal with timescales and a method statement. It will include all costs such as travel and be specific about any assumptions e.g. using your premises for meetings.
This is so you have the information to make a fully informed decision as required by organisations getting public support. We know it can take time because of the need to involve trustees and staff so we put no time limit on the quote (we did have someone come back after three years!)
Stage three – laying the foundations for success
We start each project by establishing what success will look like for you the client. We do this by getting the answer to the following question:
“If we were meeting here together at the end of the project what has to have happened for you to feel that it has been a success?”
We also find out any key dates for you e.g. meetings you need information for; we establish how decisions will be made and who we need to keep informed and how you like to get information, email, phone, facebook message etc.
We gather as much information as possible from contact information to business plans, reports and anything else so that we do not have to keep disturbing you and more importantly we do not reinvent the wheel and waste your money.
Stage four – understanding your theory of change
Whatever the project are undertaking for you, the starting point is to understand your theory of change. We want to know how you want to change the world, using what methods and how you know when you have done it, what you measure.
Stage five – doing the work
We undertake the work as outlined in our proposal to the timescales agreed provided we hit no problems e.g. availability of key people to interview. We keep you informed if issues do arise and are flexible to respond, for example, we know many volunteers aren’t available during the working day.
Stage six – adding value
With 30+ years experience we have often worked on similar projects and can use this experience to provide a different perspective. However, we are sensitive to the varying models of working in different charities and social enterprises and the impact of different locations particularly due to variations in size so we use intelligence when drawing from external examples.
We always seek to add value by offering options and ideas and where appropriate collaboration opportunities. We are particularly skilled at identifying patterns in large amounts of data and providing summaries that can offer new perspectives.
Stage seven – creating powerful reports
Most of what we do includes one or several reports. We always identify with you who will be the readers, what you want them to do/know when they have read the report and any preferred formats. Depending on the readership we often use mindmaps to summarise information this has the power of adding images. We also use layout methods which are proven to increase the impact of the contents.
We also look to use stories, case studies and quotes to bring documents to life and maximise the impact for the reader.
We always provide drafts before finalising documents and then provide documents in digital format and bound and printed if required, please let us know if you need large volumes as this will impact costs.