Cranfield Trust ‘On Call’ is a telephone service offering immediate support to charity leaders faced with critical issues and not knowing who to turn to for help.
‘On Call’ telephone support gives charity leaders the opportunity to talk to an experienced team and network of volunteers who are on hand to answer questions, explore suitable solutions and provide the clarity and confidence charities need to make the right decisions.
Going beyond budgets with Brighter Futures
Brighter Futures registered as a charity (CIO) in September 2020; it created a community hub in Rhyl - based in the poorest ward in Wales. This hub brought together six local activities (from Mens’ Shed to Community wifi) under one roof for both mutual benefit and critical mass for fundraising etc. The charity was at the start of its governance learning curve and required immediate support and advice on budgeting and forecasting.
Cranfield Trust matched the charity with a local volunteer chartered accountant who provided training notes from the Charity Finance Group, constructively questioned the figures, and guided the compilation of an Excel format (also the basis for monthly cashflow forecasting) for the FY2022/3 budget to submit for trustee approval.
Shane Martin, Director Brighter Futures Rhyl, spoke about how they have benefitted from the work with their volunteer.
‘We have covered a lot of ground, far greater than the scope of just budgeting and I really do appreciate being able to pick your brains. It’s very rare to have access to someone with your skills and knowledge, so I may have gone a bit off tangent now and then, I was just keen to soak up all I could. The process has been fantastic; I'm looking forward to feeding back to our trustees and making recommendations shortly to put all I have learnt into practice’
As Brighter Futures was a new charity the volunteer went beyond the budgeting request and gave essential advice and support relating to the first annual accounts; transition issues with member organisations, and introductory guidance on governance issues. This included financial policy and key controls; personal trustee liability; volunteer management and risk management. To encourage successful fundraising the volunteer also provided a list of important factors that potential funders would favour for community causes.
The charity promptly acted on the advice given by the volunteer, and were really pleased with the invaluable support they otherwise wouldn’t have had:
‘Again thank you so much, we love doing what we do but recognise how important these governance improvements are, we just wouldn't be able to make them without this kind of help! It’s shocking really that an hour or so with a Cranfield Trust volunteer has helped us learn and understand more than we have over the past 3 - 4 months trying to do it ourselves.’