Project Guidelines

Guidelines to Charities for Management Consultancy Projects

The Cranfield Trust offers free consultancy projects to voluntary organisations, using a register of volunteers from the commercial sector. The Trust supports charities whose primary purpose is to address issues of poverty, disability or social exclusion. Although we interpret this brief fairly widely, we do not support animal charities, schools, environmental charities, historic buildings or other organisations whose work is not focused on people issues.

Requesting a project

Please email a Project Brief (usually 2-3 sides of A4), to

Your brief should include sections covering:
Background of Charity
When your organisation was founded, what it does, who it supports, how many beneficiaries you have, your relationship to national organisations, if appropriate.

How you heard of us
Please describe how you heard of The Cranfield Trust.

Your organisation’s structure, including Trustee Board, staff numbers, volunteers and their activities.

Scope of project
Please outline the mentoring work that you would like a volunteer to do, and describe tasks and deliverables (eg reports or presentations)

Criteria for success
How you will judge whether the project has been successful, the objectives you wish to achieve.  How many beneficiaries will this project impact?

It usually takes the Trust around one month to place a volunteer with a client charity, once a detailed project brief has been developed. Please describe your time scales / key dates / estimate of time input required from Cranfield Trust volunteer

Resources to implement the project
The Trust sometimes finds that organisations work with a volunteer to develop a plan which they cannot implement. If your project involves planning future activities, please describe the resources (funds, staff, volunteers) you have to implement your project

Accountability and involvement
Please describe whom the consultant will report to and who else will be involved in the project. When working with small organisations, the Trust has occasionally found that if the member of staff involved in the project subsequently leaves the organisation, the project work is lost to the charity client. Please bear this in mind when planning your project, and make sure enough people are involved to cover staff changes.

Your project brief will need to be signed off by the person who is the client for the project (person to whom the consultant will report) and a Trustee.

Don’t forget, to request a project you must send us:

  • Outline Project Brief (information as described in our Guidelines)
  • Your annual report and accounts
  • Any leaflets, photos or other information which will help us get a good picture of your work

By submitting your brief you are indicating your assent for your details to be held on the Cranfield Trust database so that you may be kept informed of our services.

Our guidelines are available to download.