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Why supporting charities with consulting expertise & training may be more effective than monetary donations

If you are working as a consultant and have high levels of expertise in a particular subject matter and you are keen to help a worthwhile charity or non-profit organisation, you could potentially offer a great deal more than you ever thought. While the thought of donating some of your earnings to a worthwhile cause is heart-warming and satisfying, the gift of your time could be much more beneficial.

Skills gaps in charities are a major constraint and investment in staff development is often over-looked.

The majority of charities in the UK (53%) have no paid employees, while a further 30% have fewer than 10.  Therefore, 130,000 charities around Britain rely on untrained volunteers to raise run projects and operations.

Susie McDonald, chief executive of small charity Tender, says: “The charity world creates a bit of a conundrum. Charities are expected to be as efficient and effective as private businesses and yet fundraising for key staff is often dismissed publicly as wasting money.

Reinvigoration, a UK based consulting and training company decided to donate free E-learning training and offer classroom training to volunteers and employees of World Vision, the world’s largest children’s charity. The training focused on effective Root Cause Problem Solving techniques. This gave individuals a structured methodology and trained them on key tools and techniques to solve problems on a daily basis. Although this donation of training is more difficult to link to the children benefiting from the charity’s great work, it means the volunteers have more effective skills to help resolve large and small issues that arise with delivering their aid projects.

 A charity’s strategy is vital for effective fundraising and delivery of worthwhile

Although creating and delivering a strategy for a charity or non-profit organisation are key to success. Benjamin Janes, of the Trust Partnership, believes that small to medium charities are very unstrategic in their activities. He notes “They are created as a reaction to a problem and they can get along fine as long as they can raise the money to do their job. When something looks likely to change – the trustees suddenly change, the funding is cut or they find the staff are wrong for the job – it provides the key drivers for a strategic review.”

Reinvigoration are offering free consulting support to Creative Paths a small non-profit organisation who have been supporting elderly and disabled people with arts and crafts predominantly in care homes who would not usually have this opportunity. This will help Creative Paths to review their strategic positioning and broaden their view on who they could support, what services they could offer how they will deliver them.

So if you do have certain business skills and you would like to support a worthwhile cause why not have a think how your skill set and experience could benefit someone? It could be the best donation you ever made.

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