26th March 2020 

An update from our CEO, Amanda Tincknell, CBE, 'Keeping up with Covid':

In the last two weeks, all our lives have changed more than we would have imagined possible before Covid-19.  Now, many of us are under great strain, with worries about family and friends as well as the pressures of adapting to a highly challenging work environment.

At Cranfield Trust, we’re mobilising to help.  We’ve moved to deliver our support remotely, and as we work to understand the key challenges our charity clients face, we’re adapting to ensure that we can get the right advice and support in place to help charity leaders through the next few months and beyond.

Advice on cashflow forecasting:

To help answer our charities’ questions, we’ve published advice on cashflow forecasting and have financial specialists available to advise on carrying out a rapid financial review. 

Funders are being flexible, but charities worry that even with flexibility of support for current activities, fundraising for the future is very difficult.  Without knowing what new projects and services will be possible, it’s very difficult i to apply for funds – everything is short term.  Many charities have immediately lost money from income generating activities such as pay as you go services and letting venues for events and activities.  

Supporting leaders under pressure: 

Amongst our contact group of 100 charities, some leaders feel that they are ‘deer in the headlights’, torn between their family and work pressures, while others are calm and pragmatic about what is truly possible at present.  We are continuing to provide consultancy support remotely, and have experienced mentors available to work with leaders coping with change

Rapid action planning: 

Our Cranfield Trust on Call service not only provides charities with a helpful conversation from an experienced consultant and, if needed,  can continue the conversation by providing them with a critical friend or mentor that they can work with to stabilise and plan ahead.  Moving to work from home, staff off sick, self-isolating, or needing to be at home with children means that just understanding what resources charities have available is difficult.  With charities ready to think ahead, we’re helping with action-oriented planning to think about how to sustain services and organisations in the next few months.

We’re also seeing charities struggle to stay in touch and maintain relationships with service users and volunteers without normal face to face contact, and are concerned that access to services will be difficult for people who need personal contact.  Charities are also reporting difficulty in understanding government guidance: there’s lots of information but it’s not always clear.  With instructions to stay at home likely to harden into legislation, we need understanding, support and clarity from government.

Cranfield Trust is continuing to provide support to many organisations – whether through mentoring, telephone advice or more sustained support.  Our volunteer group of over 1,200 commercial sector professionals are ready to help, whenever needed, and in whatever way is most useful.  Keep in touch with developments on our website.

18th March 2020 

A message from our CEO, Amanda Tincknell, CBE: 


During the coronavirus outbreak we are keen to do everything we can to help frontline charities keep going.  Managing through a crisis is challenging and, although the demands of maintaining services and meeting needs are growing, supporting colleagues and managing organisations are critical issues too.

At Cranfield Trust, we’ll be using all our resources to help.  We have a register of over 1,200 volunteers: management specialists who can provide advice on critical management issues such as continuity planning, managing finances and supporting staff.  They have knowledge, ideas, networks and time to help.

We are working with our volunteers, staff team and networks to provide support remotely, but personally, to help charities on the frontline.

At this time, we believe that many charity leaders and managers will be feeling under extreme pressure to deliver services, while struggling with worries about the future.  We will do our best to provide information and advice, to listen to your concerns and to help as much as we can. We will be here throughout the crisis and beyond, to support charities.

We have a fantastic team of staff and volunteers who are ready to help.  Please get in touch, we look forward to working together.

Best wishes


Amanda Tincknell, CBE
CEO, Cranfield Trust

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