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Group development

We offer free advice to many groups and those thinking of becoming a group/organisation.

See below for illustrations of the ways in which we may be able to help.

  • To find out how to advertise, manage volunteers, network with volunteer coordinators and more contact Volunteer Centre Oxfordshire.
  • Funding: See our web-based guide
  • Challenges/Development: OCVA and Charity Mentors Oxfordshire provide a ‘First Stop’ service for charity leaders. Offering monthly one-to-one slots for charity leaders to talk in complete confidence about any challenges they are facing. Charity leaders includes – trustees, senior managers or chief executives. More details here
  • Finding Trustees: See the Find Trustees for more information
  • Establish the right structure: registered charity? CIO? CIC?
    • Existing tools from GetLegal and Resource Centre may help answer your questions.
    • You may also like to ask for development advice from Cranfield Trust, or ROBIN – Oxfordshire’s corporate social responsibility network as their members sometimes offer free help
  • Diversify your income stream: see our web-based guide
  • Free help from others (see the base of this page):

Consultancy examples

  • Check that you are ‘fit for funding’ with Oxfordshire Community Foundation managed funds
  • Plan and develop a project
  • Registering (for example with the Charity Commission)
  • Brokerage in the development of volunteering opportunities
  • Support your board or management committee to fulfil their legal obligations and lead the organisation so that it achieves its aims
  • Put in place policies and procedures to ensure your organisation runs effectively
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Structuring and recruitment
  • Review your draft applications, pre-qualification questionnaires and tenders

This is an illustrative list and we may be able to help in other ways too.

Free help


Could a volunteer help your organisation? What is ACES?

Second and final year Brookes Accounting students volunteer with local charities, cooperatives, community interest companies, social enterprises and voluntary associations, to provide accounting services such as:

  • Basic book-keeping
  • Setting up and maintaining systems
  • Claiming Gift Aid (going back four years in one case)
  • Drawing up management and end of year accounts
  • Reporting to the board in some cases
  • Undertaking Independent
  • Examinations as required by the Charity Commission

We are open to suggestions as to how students might help you.

Are the students given any training?

The students will already know the basics of bookkeeping but you will need to induct them into your systems.

They will have specific charity accounting training from Critchleys Chartered Accountants and on-going support from specialist staff in the Oxford Brookes Business School. This year we will also be supported by Green Accountancy.

When will students be able to work?

Students will work for a few hours a week over the course of a year or possibly longer. The scheme is mutually beneficial; the students gain experience and the organisations gain expertise.

To participate:

list your requirements on this form.

Or list your requirements and return it to: waves AT brookes.ac.uk For more information please contact: waves AT brookes.ac.uk

Help with Strategic Thinking

Often daily “firefighting” leaves little time for strategic thinking. Charity Mentors provide a fresh experienced pair of eyes that will help trigger new approaches, achieve clarity, and give increased confidence about decisions.

Contact: Laura Howdill, http://www.charitymentors.co.uk/

Professional Support in Managing Non-profits

Although originally seen as a way of linking charities with the business community (mainly Jennings’ tenants) MCT now has 8 Trustees, who give up their time voluntarily to visit charities and see how we can help. Why not meet their team of Trustees or get in touch.

Monument Community Trust has been supporting Oxfordshire charities since 2010 and in that time has already provided a range of support to over 100 voluntary sector organisations.

Also try:

Managing your buildings

TOE2 Services

  • “Managing Energy Use in Your Community Building” is a short booklet packed with useful advice and tips for making buildings more energy efficient. Available as a free downloadable pdf.
  • Enrich Volunteer Mentors are available in some areas to provide support and advice to community buildings at the start of their energy reduction journey.
  • A new programme called Enriching Communities aims to bring communities together to look at reducing energy demand across their local facilities and in households. We can work with Parish Councils and other community groups to provide information, support local events with talks and demonstrations, and to offer energy audits of community facilities across a Parish.

Contact Toe2 for further information about any elements of the ENRICH programme – 01865 407003 or admin AT trustforoxfordshire.org.uk

Grants and project calls from TOE2 will be listed on OCVA’s funding guide.

Rural issues

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Christmas Volunteering and Community Help Advent Calendar 2023
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