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Online help and resources to help you run your charity or not-for-profit better

09/07/2020

Everyone needs a listening ear and a guiding hand now and again. And that goes for not-for-profits too. Because even when you’re fully occupied helping others, sometimes it’s the very thing you need yourself.

Searching out help for charities and non-profits isn’t always easy though. Tracking down good quality charity advice and guidance can be tricky and time-consuming. And that’s presuming you know where to start looking in the first place.

That’s not such a massive deal perhaps if you’ve got the luxury of funds to pay for training courses. And you can afford the time for people to attend them.

But what if money and resources are tight, as they are for so many – especially in these straitened times? How can you access the charity advice you need easily and effectively without eating into budgets? Who will answer your questions?

Help at hand

The thing is, there’s a lot to get right about running a charity or other not-for-profit. There’s staying on the right side of charity law and negotiating the minefield of health & safety regs for starters.

There’s also data protection to get right, plus safeguarding, and fundraising rules you need to know and respect. Not forgetting governance and employment issues, and the small matter of risk management.

All of that adds up to a lot of information to access and digest. But thanks to the internet, there’s already lots of useful charity help out there, much of it provided free of charge. It’s just a matter of being able to find it.

By way of doing our own bit to help, we’ve spent time trawling the web for the very best advice for charities available. The result is this list, complete with direct links, offering guidance on: fundraising; trustees; governance; employees & volunteers; GDPR & data protection; health & safety; and risk management.

We’ve divided it up not only by subject area but by country too since the devolved nations are governed and regulated differently.

It’s worth remembering that insurance is very much part of the risk management mix. Also, that our policies come with a free subscription to Flick online training, which can help in key areas like health and safety, safeguarding, and data protection.

1. Charity fundraising help & resources

Key information about the laws governing charity fundraising and valuable fundraising advice on how to generate revenue – including where to find grants.

England

Gov.uk
Joint advice on the dos and don’ts of charity fundraising from The Charity Commission for England & Wales and HM Revenue & Customs.

The Fundraising Regulator
Information on fundraising standards from the regulator for England, including the fundraising code and complaints procedures.

Knowhow Nonprofit (NCVO)
National Council for Voluntary Organisation’s fundraising help, know-how, and guidance, plus a search centre for grants and contracts.

Scotland

Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR)
In-depth charity fundraising guidelines from Scotland’s third-sector regulator.

Scottish Fundraising Standards Panel
Information on fundraising standards for Scottish registered charities, including the fundraising code and complaints procedures.

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO)
Fundraising how-to for Scotland’s charities, voluntary organisations, and social enterprises, plus a search tool for funding opportunities.

Wales

Gov.uk
Fundraising dos and don’ts from The Charity Commission for England & Wales and HM Revenue & Customs, including rules and responsibility.

The Fundraising Regulator
All you need to know about fundraising standards from the regulator, with details about the fundraising code and complaints procedures.

Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA)
Spotlight on fundraising help for the Welsh community and voluntary sector, plus where to go for grants.

Northern Ireland

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland
All about fundraising rules and regs in Northern Ireland including downloadable ‘bitesize’ guides.

The Fundraising Regulator
Info on fundraising standards from the regulator’s office, including what you need to know about the fundraising code and complaints procedures.

Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA)
Fundraising resources and support for Northern Ireland’s community and voluntary sector, including a tracker for finding grants.

2. Charity trustees and directors' guidance

Essential pointers for trustees and boards on how to become a charity trustee, how to do the job well, and all the relevant rules.

England

The Charity Commission
Charity commission guidance for trustees – ‘The essential trustee: what you need to know, what you need to do’.

Knowhow Nonprofit (NCVO)
Succinct guide to trustee basics from the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.

The Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI)
All about trustees’ responsibilities and obligations in six snappy video modules.

Scotland

Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator (OSCR)
OSCR guidance for charity trustees covering duties, regulations, and good practice.

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO)
How to be ‘terrific trustees’, including info, links, news, and the chance to sign up for updates.

The Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI)
Everything you need to know about trustees’ responsibilities and obligations in six short videos.

Wales

The Charity Commission
Charity commission trustees’ advice and guidance including responsibilities, regulations, and risks.

Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA)
Trustee advice and guidance, including information sheets, tools, and useful links.

The Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI)
An online video series explaining trustees’ duties and obligations in six quick instalments.

Northern Ireland

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland
Trustee considerations, info, and recruitment from the Northern Ireland charities regulator.

Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA)
What’s it like being a trustee of a charity? What are their legal duties? How can they protect themselves? Find the answers here.

The Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI)
A six-video guide to charity trustee essentials, including trustees’ responsibilities and obligations.

3. Guidance for charity employment and hiring volunteers

Valuable pointers for employing staff and volunteers – including charity employment law and best practice for recruiting and retaining volunteers.

England

The Charity Commission
Rules, regs and essential advice on how to treat your staff and charity volunteers, from England and Wales’ third sector regulator.

Knowhow Nonprofit (NCVO)
Plenty of info on volunteers and volunteering from the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, with a focus on volunteer management.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
Detailed guidance on how criminal record checks for your staff and volunteers can help you create a safer workforce.

Scotland

Volunteer Scotland
Comprehensive volunteering resource with guidance, ‘investing in volunteers’ advice, training and templates.

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO)
Advice on managing your workforce, with useful sections on staff, volunteers and safeguarding.

Disclosure Scotland
How to create a safer workforce by employing background checks as standard before hiring volunteers and charity staff.

Wales

The Charity Commission
What you need to know about employing, managing and protecting your staff and charity volunteers, from the third sector regulator for England and Wales.

Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA)
Plenty of detailed information and a range of resources for recruiting and managing volunteers, with model policies and a code of practice.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
How to organise background checks on your staff and volunteers, with the aim of creating a safer workforce.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Department of the Economy
Guide to employment rights and must-dos from the Northern Ireland government.

Volunteer Now
Comprehensive volunteering resource for Northern Ireland, including hiring volunteers, volunteer management, training, and standards.

AccessNI
Guidance on how criminal record checks for your organisation’s staff and volunteers can help create a safer workforce.

4. Charity governance guidance

England

Charity governance dos and don’ts to make your not-for-profit the best it can be, including what to do and when.

The Charity Commission
All aspects of how to run a charity from beginning to end, from the regulator for England and Wales.

Charity Governance Code
An aspirational charity governance code to help charities and their trustees develop and uphold the highest of standards.

Knowhow Nonprofit (NCVO)
How to give your organisation direction and make it both effective and accountable, from the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.

Scotland

Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator (OSCR)
Detailed guide to good charity governance, including case studies showing how things should – and shouldn’t – be done.

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO)
Lots of advice about how to run your organisation efficiently and effectively, plus a useful jargon buster for governance terminology.

Scotland’s Third Sector Governance Forum
Good governance code for Scottish charities including five core principles, alongside resources, documents, templates, and guidance.

Wales

The Charity Commission
All you need to know about setting up and running a charity from the regulator for England and Wales.

Charity Governance Code
A practical charity governance code covering leadership, compliance and culture, with separate advice for larger and smaller charities.

Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA)
Insider advice and guidance on good governance, including information sheets and tools.

Northern Ireland

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland
Need-to-know information about managing your charity including charity law and governance, from the regulator for Northern Ireland.

DIY Committee Guide
Code of Good Governance for the boards of Northern Irish voluntary and community organisations, with five key principles.

Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action
Info on all aspects of running a charity including regulations and governance, plus advice notes for the most common queries.

5. Charity GDPR & data protection guidance

Everything you need to know about GDPR and charities, including how to stay within the General Data Protection Regulation rules and how to keep your data safe.

England

Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)
Tailored advice for charities and not-for profits from the UK’s information and data regulator, plus details of their helpline for small organisations.

National Cyber Security Centre
Small charities’ guide to cyber security and how to keep your data safe – from the government experts at GCHQ.

The Fundraising Regulator
The Fundraising regulator’s take on GDPR for voluntary organisations, with a bite-size guide.

Scotland

Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)
The UK information and data regulator’s guidance on charities GDPR, with details of their helpline for small organisations.

National Cyber Security Centre
In-depth small charities’ guide to cyber security and how to keep your data safe from the government experts at GCHQ.

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO)
GDPR guidance from the SCVO’s Datawareness initiative, plus an offer of free legal advice for members.

Wales

Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)
Detailed guidance on GDPR and data protection for not-for profits from the UK information and data regulator, with details of their helpline for small organisations.

National Cyber Security Centre
A guide to cyber security and data protection from the government experts at GCHQ, especially for small charities.

Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA)
Charities GDPR essentials including key areas of responsibility, an info sheet and #Desktopdata webinars.

Northern Ireland

Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)
Charity GDPR FAQs and dedicated advice from the UK’s information and data regulator, including details of their helpline for small organisations.

National Cyber Security Centre
Handy small charities cyber security and data protection guide from the government experts at GCHQ.

Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA)
A GDPR toolkit for the Northern Irish voluntary sector with guides, templates, FAQs, and links.

6. Charity health & safety guidance

England

Health & Safety Executive (HSE)
Essential government guide to health and safety legal requirements for the voluntary sector.

Health & Safety Made Simple
Step-by-step guidance from the HSE, including how to write a charity health and safety policy.

Knowhow Nonprofit (NCVO)
Bite-size health and safety run-down from The National Council for Voluntary Organisations, with relevant links.

Scotland

Health & Safety Executive (HSE) (Scotland)
Essential info on health and safety requirements and resources from the HSE’s Scottish office.

Health & Safety Executive (HSE)
UK government health and safety for charities guide, with a handy link to ‘Health and Safety Made Simple’.

Healthy Working Lives
Advice on health, safety, and wellbeing from NHS Scotland, including a 12-step action plan.

Wales

Health & Safety Executive (HSE) (Wales)
Health and safety FAQS plus information on requirements and resources from the HSE’s Welsh office.

Health & Safety Executive (HSE)
Voluntary sector health and safety guide from the UK government, with a link to ‘Health and safety made simple’.

Welsh Council for Voluntary Action (WCVO)
Useful health and safety policy template for small charity organisations and other not-for-profits.

Northern Ireland

Health & Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI)
Essential info on health and safety requirements and resources from the regulator for Northern Ireland.

NI direct
Rundown of employers’ health and safety responsibilities from the Northern Irish government.

7. Charity risk management guidance

England

Advice on anticipating and spotting risks as well as managing them effectively, so your organisation can continue to function smoothly.

Gov.uk
Useful advice from The Charity Commission on identifying, assessing and managing risks, including a link to more detailed guidance.

Institute of Risk Management
Tailored info for charities from the UK’s leading professional body for risk management, with videos and a downloadable guide.

Knowhow Nonprofit (NCVO)
The National Council for Voluntary Organisations’ take on charity risk management, including a 7-point how-to guide.

Scotland

Gov.uk
How to identify, assess and manage risks, including a link to detailed guidance and advice on framing your charity risk management policy.

Institute of Risk Management
Comprehensive set of resources especially for charities and voluntary organisations from the UK’s leading professional body for risk management.

Lloyds Bank Foundation
A comprehensive toolkit to help charities manage their risks from Lloyds Bank’s independent charitable trust.

Wales

Gov.uk
All you need to know about charity risk management from The Charity Commission, including types of risks, how to manage risk, and reporting regs.

Institute of Risk Management
Specialist risk advice for charities from the UK’s leading risk management professional body, with practical help videos and a downloadable guide.

Lloyds Bank Foundation
A risk management toolkit to help charities identify, rate, control, and monitor risk from Lloyds Bank’s independent charitable trust.

Northern Ireland

Institute of Risk Management
Advice and resources for third-sector risk management from the IRM, the UK’s biggest risk management professional body.

Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA)
Five essential steps for carrying out a risk assessment – including how to identify, analyse, record and review risks.

DIY Committee Guide
Guide to risk management including a charity risk assessment template, from the group responsible for the Code of Good Governance for Northern Ireland.

Image used under license from Shutterstock.

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