Cranfield Trust has introduced a new ‘Journey to Excellence Recognition Badge’ for charities that have worked through the Trust’s assessment framework, demonstrating a commitment to improving charity management.

Journey to Excellence (J2E) is Cranfield Trust’s tailor-made assessment framework. It is designed specifically to evaluate progress in the performance of charities the Trust supports with pro bono management consultancy. The J2E framework measures progress in four essential management areas: leadership and strategic direction, financial management and sustainability, people management and performance and impact. The assessment is carried out with the charity by the Cranfield Trust Regional Manager ahead of the consultancy project commencing. 

The unique framework was developed based on the Trust’s 35 years of insight and knowledge from providing management consultancy to thousands of non-profit organisations and charities. During 2022-23, J2E showed that charities supported through Cranfield Trust pro bono consultancy and using the J2E framework improved their overall J2E score by an average of 19% as a result of the support they received.

Photo of Building Circles CEO, Helen Kaye showing the new J2E Recognition Badge on her laptop. Helen had blond shoulder length hair and is wearing a cream jacket. She is smiling.

Cranfield Trust has awarded its first Journey to Excellence Recognition Badge to Building Circles, a Gloucestershire-based charity that reduces social isolation and loneliness in adults with learning disabilities and on the autistic spectrum. Building Circles approached Cranfield Trust for support in measuring the impact of one of its training packages and one of the Trust’s expert volunteers with the right skills was matched to the charity to carry out the project.

The Trust will award the recognition badge to charities it has supported through its pro bono management consultancy from May 2024 onwards to mark its 35th anniversary. 

Building Circles CEO Helen Kay comments on her consultancy experience and on being the first charity to receive Cranfield Trust’s Journey to Excellence Recognition Badge, “We’re delighted and honoured to be the first charity to receive Cranfield Trust’s Journey to Excellence Recognition Badge. It helps us to show the importance of demonstrating our commitment to providing a better, more focused service to our end users.”

Helen found the Journey to Excellence process particularly helpful: “The J2E review process pre and post project made me pause and think holistically about our organisation. The trustees now have a clearer picture of the areas where we are taking steps to improve, and as a team, we are having more useful and focused Senior Leadership meetings.

“The initial J2E assessment with the Regional Manager was extremely thought provoking, giving us a much clearer sense of areas requiring attention. 12 months on, it's been tremendous for everyone involved to see how far we have travelled, and progress made as a result of this process. We still have areas to work on, but for the first time have an accessible tool to help us prioritise our efforts.”

Amanda Tincknell CBE, Cranfield Trust CEO, outlines more about the framework and new recognition badge, “Our Journey to Excellence consultancy framework helps our clients to identify organisational development needs at the start of their project with us. It measures progress from beginning to the end so they can be confident in knowing where to focus their time and resources to continue to improve.

“The introduction of our new Journey to Excellence Recognition Badge celebrates charities’ hard work and commitment to improving in the four essential management areas. At a time when charities are under more pressure than they have ever been before, we wanted to acknowledge this commitment and to be able to demonstrate this to their trustees, funders, and other stakeholders.

“Congratulations to Building Circles on being the first charity to be awarded with our new recognition badge and we look forward to presenting it to many more as they undertake their Journey to Excellence with us."

Registered Charity No: 800072 | Scottish Charity No: SCO40299 | Company No: 2290789 | Telephone No: 01794 830338
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