About us

Free business skills to help charities succeed.

Princess Royal

In 1989, HRH The Princess Royal challenged the staff, students and alumni of Cranfield University to use their skills to benefit the voluntary sector. We responded by establishing The Cranfield Trust.

We are an independent registered charity, with the Princess as our Patron. In the last 25 years, we’ve conducted more than 3,000 projects for charity clients – all free of charge. 100% of our income is fundraised.

Through more than 950 volunteer management consultants, we provide charities with pro bono business expertise. 

We offer free HR advice to any registered charity or other social enterprise with a charitable purpose. Find out more about our human resources service, HRNet.

Our national charity management consultancy service is available to any registered non-profit involved with poverty, disability or social exclusion.

Cranfield Trust

We select the right business volunteer expert for each assignment and then keep in touch to check that everything works well.

2014 was our 25th anniversary year, read about the work we did and our plans for the future, and get involved as a volunteer, charity client or supporter

Our purpose

To provide free business skills to build successful charities.

The Cranfield Trust is a national charity offering free business skills, advice and guidance to voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations. 

People who run charities often have extraordinary skills to support the people who need their help.  We’re here to help non-profits cope with the management challenges they face. 

Our free services include:

Why does it matter to you?

Charities are a lifeline to all sorts of people. Any of us could need them at some time in our lives. 

The UK has more than 13m people living in poverty, over 11m people with a disability, and many others in need of some sort of help or support. 

Charity clientThe charity sector’s income is £37bn and it has £100bn of assets.  Much of that is our money – through government or personal donations. So we have a vested interest in ensuring that it’s used to good effect. 

Read what our charity clients say about us.




Across the UK

We support voluntary organisations around the country.

London and the South East is our most long-established region. Each year we support up to 100 charities here on a wide range of management issues. Our clients cover a wide spread of causes, from supporting children and young people to disaster relief. Roger Watkins, Donald Reid, Dawn Harrison-Wallace, Olive Hamilton-Andrews and Ian Williams are our Projects Managers supporting London, the South East and East of England.

In the Midlands, our volunteer consultants have recently helped not-for-profit organisations win tenders for key services. Our Projects Manager in the region is Trevor Kitching.

Our work in the North West is managed by Nick Stojic. Business planning and marketing expertise have been in demand as organisations seek support with fundraising and personalisation of services.

The North East, supported by Projects Manager George Gibbons, and Yorkshire and the Humber, with Projects Manager Sue Hall, are our newest regions and we are concentrating on developing our volunteer group to support growing demand from charities in these regions.

In Scotland, we have more than 100 volunteer consultants, mainly in the Central Belt, who provide support to Scottish voluntary organisations. Gillian Bell is the Projects Manager.  

Key Facts

Year founded



HRH The Princess Royal



HRNet charity members


Consultancy projects for charities to date


Regional Project Managers


Our accounts are available from the Charity Commission.  

If you would like to know more, see our Frequently Asked Questions or please contact us.


“My brand new charity business plan enabled us to win a three-year Community Investment Grant and gain the AQS Quality Mark for our Advice Service, which should help us attract new funding. This has all come out of the relationship with The Cranfield Trust. I am extremely grateful to my mentor.  He was extremely patient and his advice was fantastic.”


Matt Hatton, Project Manager - Kingston Churches Action on Homelessness