Business planning for the voluntary sector

In a rapidly changing environment for the voluntary sector, organisations need to have a clear and comprehensive strategy in place. Building on NCVO’s Tools for Tomorrow publication, participants will explore activities that can help organisations think effectively about the external environment, your charity’s place and role with others in the sector, and the options and choices for your charity’s development.

Date 27 April 2018
Time 09.30 - 16.30
Location NCVO Conference Suite, London N1

By focusing on the changes the organisation seeks to create, considering the operating environment and your available resources and capabilities, your organisation can be designed in a way that will achieve it. This is a practical course where participants will do exercises with an organisation in mind, reflect on the activities, and consider the gaps within the organisation’s current business or strategic thinking. By the end of the course you will have:

  • Improved understanding of the impact your organisation is trying to achieve
  • Greater awareness of business planning and its relevance in the voluntary sector
  • Increased knowledge of the tools available to support business planning and strategic decision-making
  • Greater clarity on the business questions that your organisation needs to consider in the future 


NCVO Conference Suite, London N1

Who should attend?

This course is designed for those involved with strategy, business planning and organisational development within small and medium-sized charities. This course will support participants to think critically about your organisation’s purpose, it’s positioning and business options. The course is designed for individuals who play an active role in setting the charity’s direction, such as senior leaders, CEOs, trustees and programme leads.

Who runs it?

Alex Farrow leads on supporting organisations to strengthen their strategy and evaluate their impact as a Lead Consultant at NCVO Charities Evaluation Services. Alex is a highly experienced researcher and consultant, with significant experience in qualitative methodologies, organisational change and strategy development.

Alex is deeply rooted within the UK voluntary sector, including as a charity trustee, and has worked extensively with local authorities, organisations and government departments across the country. Alex has supported strategy development and business planning processes with international and national organisations, most recently with the Equalities & Human Rights Commission, University of Nottingham Student’s Union, Family Holiday Association, the Diana Award, and Girlguiding UK. Alex has worked extensively in international development, providing technical assistance to national governments and UN agencies in the design, implementation and evaluation of national youth strategies.

Book a place  

Our pricing structure is based on your organisation’s gross annual income. We also offer a 30% discount for NCVO members.

Not quite what you are looking for?

If you’re looking for something practical, see our strategic publication, Tools for Tomorrow: A practical guide to strategic planning for voluntary organisations (pdf, 240KB), which includes tools that you can use in your strategic planning, including a stakeholder analysis, internal health check writing a strategic plan, and evaluation.

If you’re looking for something to read, see our Knowhow pages on strategy, impact and organisational performance.

If you want to focus more on agreeing and articulating the purpose of what you do as an organisation – particularly from an evaluation perspective – see our course on developing your theory of change.

Contact us

If you have any questions, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 020 7520 2587

Would you like to run this training for your organisation?

We offer bespoke and in-house training on a range of topics, including governance and leadership, sustainable funding and strategy development. For more information please complete our online contact form.


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