Strategy, planning and running your organisation effectively

Below are links to some excellent resources on strategy, planning and running your organisation effectively.

Your charity’s Governing Document or constitution needs checking approximately every five years and SKC can help you review your existing articles of association – Contact us at our First Step Support service for support

Cranfield Trust

Support is available from skilled business volunteers. Cranfield Trust are offering their services remotely and are encouraging charities to get in touch with them.

Charity Mentors Kent and Medway

Offer charities and not-for-profit community organisations in Kent and Medway to meet Mentors for free strategic advice.

Charity Governance Code

Visit the Charity Governance Code to see the seven hallmarks of a good charity. There is a self-assessment tool on the website that you can use to review your Board.

National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO)


Have a huge array of Governance and Trustee resources including their know-how guides to Governance including Getting Started with Governance and Improving Your Governance Practice which includes a Trustee Skills Audit and Trustee Induction Schedule and Pack.

A members-only resource is The Governance Wheel a tool to measure and develop your governance and leadership, which links to The Charity Governance Code above. Measuring Up Impact is another useful free tool to improve the way you plan, evidence, communicate and learn from the difference that your charity’s work makes.


The Strategy and Evaluation section of their website is useful and leads you to their excellent know-how guides on strategy (this is a free page with useful strategy information), including producing your strategic plan. Some content is for members only.

Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO)

A membership organisation that aims to inspire and support civil society leaders by providing connections, advocacy and skills. ACEVO members include the leaders of small, community based groups, ambitious medium-sized organisations, and well known, well-loved national and international not-for-profits. Services:

  • Advice and support team to listen and help charity leaders with any questions or support needs so they feel less alone.
  • An online hub for peer support and advice for the ACEVO community of civil society leaders.
  • Coaching, leadership development, events, including webinars, and a resource hub with guides, tools and templates, reports and more.

They also do advocacy work for the sector.

Institute for Voluntary Action Research (IVAR)

An independent charity that works closely with people and organisations striving for social change. Their website is home to a bank of research and resources, providing insights that can help organisations adapt to change and make informed and confident decisions. Get support on core funding, cross sector working, strategy and planning, mergers.

Offer leaders of smaller voluntary organisations online peer support sessions during this prolonged period of stress and uncertainty.

The Pilotlight Programme

This programme was recommended to us by a Kent charity and supports charity leaders to think strategically about where their organisation is going and helps them to plan for sustainability, development and growth.

Association of Chairs (AoC)

A membership organisation supporting Chairs and Vice Chairs of charities and social enterprises to lead good governance and run an effective trustee board. Services include:

  • A unique peer network
  • Chair-focused webinars, workshops and briefings
  • Free guides, tips and tools specifically for Chairs and Vice Chairs
  • A regular, practical e-newsletter
  • Research, insight and analysis
  • A voice for Chairs

The Charity Commission

Charity Commission Guidance from setting up a charity to closing a charity and everything in between.

They published five new guides or 5-minute reads for Trustees Week 2020:

Charity Excellence Framework (CEF)

Have a website full of free resources, including a funder finder database, the latest Covid funders and core funders, plus the 50 Charity Excellence downloadable funder lists; and lists of organisations and skilled professionals who help the voluntary sector for free.

Provide a self-assessment tool for you to use to review your organisation’s effectiveness. Sign up and then do questionnaires on the health of your organisation – within each questionnaire there are many useful resources. Their LinkedIn page has a huge range of links and useful information.

The CEF online toolkit

CEF on LinkedIn

Free Goods and Services

Volunteer Management

Handy downloadable resources and templates for volunteer management (click the orange links below to automatically download the documents):

Model Volunteering Policy

Volunteers CharterFinal02

Sample Volunteer Agreement

Model Safeguarding Guidance

Model Role Description

Model Expenses Policy


Social Enterprise Kent (SEK)

Support a huge range of new and existing social enterprises through support capacity building programmes

Lloyds Bank Foundation

Have published a new toolkit: How to be a Changemaker with questions and tools to support you as a small organisation to be an effective influencer. They aim to help you answer the questions what should you ask for and how to successfully get others on board.


Promote open learning, encouraging organisations to share tech and tools. The Open Working Lineup (OWL) is a team of service and content designers helping Catalyst funded charities work in the open and reuse existing tools and tech.


Blog: what is working in the open for non profits

Hyper Island Toolbox

Hyper Island design learning experiences that help you make progress in your career and accelerate business transformation. They have designed this free toolbox for anyone who wants to do things more creatively and collaboratively in their team or organisation. It includes tips on everything from team working to wellbeing.