Useful resources to help UK not-for-profits and charities save money (part 2)

Here’s a further selection of top pro bono and free resources for third sector organisations, as provided by Charity Connect, an online networking community of around 20,000 professionals working in the charity sector.   Each resource has been thoroughly researched  to ensure it is among the best available  resource or supplier of its type.  The list is particularly geared towards smaller charitable  organisations whose networks and resources are less developed.  To see the full list, go to the Charity Connect website.

This charity offers substantial discounts for hot desks, shared office space and meeting rooms in one of five locations in London. Use their online calculators to compute the rent for any given space right there and then without applying first. There’s also live chat assistance. At the time of writing, the daily rate for a single hot desk was £20/day but you can also book meeting rooms, multiple desks (at a monthly rate) and establish a virtual office address at any of their locations. This is a paid service but very flexible, tech-forward and inexpensive.

ThirdBridge (
ThirdBridge provides an online matchmaking platform for charities to meet corporations seeking to donate skills, resources, and knowledge. Charities post their specific needs including anything from help with donations, fundraising and sponsorship to cause-related marketing, gifts in kind and skilled volunteering. Charities, once vetted (usually by telephone within one business day), can use the platform for free. Corporate members include O2, Sky and Accenture among other household names.

The grand-daddy of voluntary organisations in the UK with 13,000 member organisations representing ⅓ of the country’s voluntary workforce, The National Council for Voluntary Organisations provides support, advice and consulting to members. Membership is not free unless your organisation’s turnover is less than £30k per year but you can still access a lot of content authored by guest bloggers on their knowledge base, Knowhow Nonprofit.

The FSI is both an online information hub and holds conferences, webinars, seminars and training courses very regularly for small charities with turnover of less than £1.5M, The topic areas covered by FSI literally encompass 360° of managing a charity, from IT to fundraising, governance, GDPR, the consequences of Brexit, etc. You have to pay a small fee to participate in face-to-face learning but web conferences and online lessons are free to charities making less than £1.5M annually.

Inspiring Impact helps charities understand impact measurement in a two-step process. The first step is assessment of your organisation’s impact measurement process, entailing completion of an online self-diagnostic questionnaire called “Measuring Up!” which poses questions like, “Do you use evidence to understand your work?” and “Do you describe the positive outcomes you want to achieve for your beneficiaries?” (Those questions were taken from the questionnaire for organisations with turnover of less than £100k/year. There is also a self-diagnostic for larger organisations, whose impact measurement is more advanced.) Upon completing the test, Measuring Up! “grades” your impact assessment practice, highlighting areas for improvement. At that point, you can access the site’s Resource Hub to address whatever particular deficiencies have been flagged by Measuring Up! Note that their resource hub does have free tools for impact measurement (as opposed to determining whether you’re doing a good job of measuring your impact) and guidance about how to set up an impact measurement system suitable for your organisation.