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Charities

CHARITY ADVISORY

Our team of charity advisors work with charities that want to build their long-term resilience.

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about our charity advisory services

We work with charity leaders and trustees to help their organisations become sustainable and resilient. We offer a broad range of expertise drawn from CAF's work with charities, companies, major donors and our research into charitable giving and philanthropy.

Our work with charities is focused predominantly in the following areas:

  • Funding and income generation strategies.
  • Strategic planning: including organisational reviews and futurology.
  • Board development and governance. 

Our principles

We enjoy working with charities and the grantees of foundations, government agencies, grantmakers, corporates, major donors and philanthropists. Our work is based around core principles that help to deliver the maximum impact to our clients. They are:

  • Holistic – we don't simply look at one issue in isolation.
  • Over time – we balance momentum with the time that's needed for an organisation to reflect.
  • Relationships – we work in a balanced and collaborative way with the people we support.
  • Connecting and networking – we play to our strengths and make the most of CAF's position in the sector to bring people together.
  • Influencing – we take what we learn through our work with charities and use it to help funders understand their impact.

Get in touch with the advisory team

clients and projects

In recent years, we've carried out a wide range of charity advisory projects, including:

  • Advising a number of grantees of Lloyds Bank Foundation on developing their strategic plans and major donor, legacy and corporate fundraising plans.

  • Supporting grantees of the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation on strategic plans including reviewing their case for support, benchmarking and developing new income diversification plans.

  • Working with four Catchment Partnerships (CPs) funded by the Environment Agency. This work focused on helping the CPs become more independent, self-sustaining and resilient, with a particular focus on income diversification. It also addressed other important organisation aspects of their governance, strategy and impact.

  • Being funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to support six place-based giving schemes.

  • Supporting the resilience of ten small charities through our CAF Resilience programme, which is funded by major donors. The advisory support we provide includes advising them on trustee recruitment, brand development, developing their ask for major donor, individual, legacy or corporate fundraising.

Our advisory work with charities

We’ve worked with charities of every shape and size. While each relationship is different, they’re all based on collaboration, honesty and support. Take a look at some examples of our work.

Venture Trust

Venture Trust

We were put in touch with Venture Trust by Impetus, an organisation that funds charities who work with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. 

Following our work with the charity they've introduced a more strategic approach to attracting corporate partners that's helped change the culture of the organisation.


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Lawrence Weston Community Farm

Lawrence Weston Community Farm

Through our partnership with Llloyd's Bank Foundation we worked with the community farm on ways they could attract more corporate support.

One of our suggestions was to expand their volunteering opportunities for corporate groups. They've since introduced a new range of corporate activities that are generating new sources of income.


Read more

WILD Young Parents Project

Wild Young Parents

Wild Young Parents were one of the ten charities on our CAF Resilience programme

Before the programme their biggest worries were a lack of forward planning, no clear vision for the future and outdated systems. They've now introduced new processes for stakeholder mapping, impact reporting and community engagement.


Read more

Insight from our work with charities, grantmakers and donors

Blogs, articles and insight from the charity advisory team.

  • Heather McLoughlin

    Charities: key strategies for financial sustainability

    In this article Healther McLoughlin explores a selection of realistic strategies for financial sustainability aims to help charities of all shapes and sizes. This piece appears on Charity Financials website.
  • CAF Legacy Newsletter 2019

    CAF Resilience programme

    Funded by philanthropists, CAF Resilience is a programme to help smaller charities strengthen their long-term organisational health. Find out more about the programme and the lessons we're learning for the sector.
  • Red umbrella with rain clouds

    Building your charity's resilience

    A charity's resilience isn't simply a measure of financial performance. It's about bouncing back from setbacks and being prepared for future challenges. Here we look at what makes a resilient charity.
  • Resilience_150x150

    Six characteristics of a resilient charity

    What does a resilient charity look like? The CAF Resilience programme has noticed six characteristics that show an organisation has the potential to be resilient.
  • Critical lessons for charity trustees

    Critical lessons for trustees

    Beth Clarke, CAF Resilience Programme Manager, talks about her experience as a trustee of a charity that closed down. Read about her experience and her lessons for other trustees and boards.

Contact the charity advisory team

Whether you’re a charity looking for expert guidance, a grantmaker or foundation looking to work with us, or an event manager looking for a speaker, we'd love to hear from you. 

Get in touch with the team

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