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We're supporting many charities who have had their funding cut whilst still responding to increased demands for their vital services and they just don’t know where to turn. This guide provides a 10-point practical plan to immediately support charity leaders to fight this finance crisis. 

We can also provide longer term help and support with our pro bono management consultancy. Please get in touch to find out about the many other ways in which we can provide support or sign up to our alerts to be kept up to date on our latest free webinars and new resources.

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1. Forecast your cash flow

Cash is king, even more so during a time of economic crisis. By understanding and forecasting your cashflow so you can see how long you have to raise further income and when you might need to make cost-cutting decisions. 

Watch our webinar which will take you through a demonstration of practical suggestions, basic concepts and ideas that you can implement immediately.  

Watch the Cash is King webinar now It’s just one hour long.

Download our cash flow forecasting example spreadsheet

2. Manage your finances 

With the rapid increase of inflation, Cranfield Trust volunteer Stuart Walker, qualified accountant and business writer specialising in financial issues, provides guidance on how charities can forecast from both a strategic point of view and from a practical standpoint. 

Read Stuart's guide Managing your finances in a high inflation environment

3. Could your charity be more investable?

Our webinar explains ‘Investability’, which goes beyond a funding strategy, and can help you create ways of attracting interest, investment and impact for your charity. In this webinar you’ll be taken through practical insights and ‘how to’ steps to learn to put your charity at the front of this approach.

Watch our investability webinar This will only take around 45 minutes

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4. Make the most of your fundraising time

Maximise your fundraising time by talking to funders before applying, where funders are open to this. Understanding funder interests and how likely they are to be interested in your work saves time and effort on applications which won’t work. 

Our ‘Successful Buds’ webinar from our volunteer Trevor Kitching, helps you to get into the minds of evaluators to maximise the score they award to your bid. Trevor shares his knowledge and experience from many years of working in tendering for central and local government. By the end of the webinar you’ll have practical guidance and advice to follow when writing your next bid and funding application.  

Watch the successful bids webinar This will take one hour. 

To complement Trevor’s bid writing webinar we also have a content rich session to share on “Covering the Contract Lifecycle” delivered by expert Dawn Brant with over 30 years experience in contracting. 

Watch the Covering the contract lifestyle webinar This will take 45 minutes. 

5. Explore all funding and income options 

You can consider exploring new options for funding. Take a look at Charity Excellence Funding Finder Directory, which includes hundreds of links to online charity funding lists and other free charitable grants directories.

In our latest article Suzanne Waggett, Chief Investment Officer at Fredericks Foundation shares an insight into social investing and why charities might consider social investment.

Read the article

6. Mobilise your trustees

Another insightful and practical advice from Stuart Walker, specifically aimed at trustees to guide them in overseeing charity finances and to support you in getting to a stronger financial position during this time of economic uncertainty. 

Seven finance questions every trustee should ask

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7. Create a business plan

If you’ve not yet got a business plan, invest some time to create one to help you navigate current and anticipated challenges. Although the thought of creating a business plan may seem daunting when you’re focussed on immediate financial pressures, having a strong business plan that clearly outlines your vision and objectives can position you well with funders. 

A business plan is a living document, a roadmap and must be in the hearts and minds of everyone in the organisation.

Watch our webinar on business planning for charities. This will take less than an hour 

This template will help to guide you in writing a straightforward business plan. 

8. Rework your business plan to address the changing environment 

Not set in stone but a living document, your business plan can change and should change to adapt to your changing environment. We recommend you review and revisit your plans to get you through this challenging time and stronger for the future. 

We have prepared a short practical guide takes you through the questions to ask when developing your charity’s business plan, which will help you to update an existing plan.

You may find it valuable to watch our webinar on Organisational Resilience when creating your business plan or adapting to one to ensure you are resilient.  David Denyer from Cranfield School of Management presented this to address how, as leaders, we can cope with disruptive events, shocks and surprises.      

Addressing new problems requires new solutions and at times of crisis it’s necessary to implement solutions quickly, see what works and improves, of course with minimal risk. Ann Mei Chang shares some wisdom on how quickly we can iterate, feedback and improve. Watch our webinar on Lean Impact. 

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9. Think about your own resilience and wellbeing 

In this webinar, Chris O’Rourke a globally recognised COO and Certified Personal Trainer, takes you through the seven pillars of wellbeing. - social, emotional, spiritual, environmental, occupational, intellectual and physical - to help you navigate these changing times. This will take just under one hour to watch.

10. Speak to a specialist volunteer

Contact us now to book a Cranfield Trust On Call to support you with the immediate financial or planning challenges you're facing. 

With our On Call service you can talk directly to one of our expert volunteers in confidence to answer a specific question relating to the management of your organisation. The specialist volunteer you are matched with will have spent time thinking through your specific question in advance to really understand your situation, so together you can explore a suitable solution or explore your options with clarity and confidence. 

Every On Call question is different, so whether you want help with financial forecasting, cost-cutting, governance or simply a sounding board, Cranfield Trust are able to help any charity with the primary purpose of addressing human welfare issues.

Sign up now to speak to one of our expert volunteers

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