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Consultancy services for the charity and not for profit sector.  Strategy Development, fundraising, governance, collaborations and partnerships.

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Blog

Stay bang up to date with developments in the sector and our latest thinking on issues affecting charities and social enterprises.

Income risk, sustainability and diversification - CFG annual conference workshop

Julian Lomas

I am delighted to be co-hosting with Helena Wilkinson of Price Bailey Chartered Accountants, an in-depth workshop on income risk, sustainability and diversification at the Charity Finance Group (CFG) Annual Conference 2019 on Thursday 16 May 2019 at The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London. CFG19 is aimed at anyone working in a role that relates to charity finance. It has five streams of sessions covering technical updates, strategic insights, and practical workshops and is the perfect opportunity to develop your knowledge and skills in charity finance, meet with others in the sector and gain new insights.

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Brexit: how could it affect your charity?

Julian Lomas

Having tried to avoid it for months, we’ve finally caved in and penned a short article on the possible implications of Brexit for small to medium sized charities in the UK. In our view there is unlikely (in any future scenario) to be a major cliff edge of change affecting UK charities as a result of Brexit. The rest is really crystal ball gazing as the uncertainty surrounding the long-term EU/UK relationships continues; but sometimes we need to look into the crystal ball.

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Charity risk management: a mini-guide

Julian Lomas

In almost every small and medium sized charity I have worked (and some big ones) with risk management has been, and seen to be, a chore; “something we have to do but which adds little value.” But it doesn’t need to be like that. This article provides a mini-guide to simple and effective risk management.

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Fundraising for Churches

Julian Lomas

Over the years we’ve done quite a lot of fundraising for churches and other faith-inspired charities. While many of the same principles apply, there are some important differences to fundraising for purely secular causes. This short article explores some of these differences, offering hints and tips to help faith-based organisations navigate the fundraising world a little more easily.

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Gamification in fundraising

Julian Lomas

Gamification is a horrible word that is used more and more in society and in fundraising. What does it mean? This short blog explores what impact this concept is having on fundraising, why it works, how you can apply it in your fundraising and what pitfalls to watch out for.

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When is a grant not a grant?

Julian Lomas

With public authorities increasingly imposing contracts and funding agreements, the risks run by charities and social enterprises are increasing. A particularly significant risk relates to whether the funding is classed as a grant or a contract, which can have expensive consequences. This blog explores this issue in more detail, with some pointers on when to seek detailed advice to avoid getting caught out with a big bill long after you have spent the money.

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Help raise money for Alzheimer's Research UK

Julian Lomas

Dementia destroys who we are and the relationships we hold dear. That’s why I’ve joined the Alzheimer's Research UK Cycling Down Dementia 2018 Pioneer Challenge. My target is to cycle 600 miles over this winter. Please help me raise much needed funding by giving through my fundraising page and by spreading the word by sharing my page with your friends and family. Thank you for your support.

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Simple project management

Julian Lomas

Project management is often shrouded in mystery and technical language and frequently made more complicated and burdensome than it needs to be. My experience with small and medium sized clients is that simpler approaches made on key principles are often more than good enough to deliver what the client needs. In this short article I explore this approach further hoping to show that simpler is possible.

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Join us to hear more about innovations in generating charity income

Julian Lomas

I am delighted to have been invited by Price Bailey Chartered Accountants to deliver a series of thought provoking seminars exploring a range of innovations in income generation for charities and social enterprises. These free seminars will take place on:

  • 4 December 2018 (5 pm in London)

  • 6 December 2018 (5 pm in Cambridge)

  • 11 December 2018 (5 pm in London)

  • 13 December 2018 (8 am in Norwich)

To book your place at one of these events please visit the Price Bailey seminars webpage . Places are going fast so book soon! I very much hope to meeting you at one of these events.

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Thinking about setting up a new charity?

Julian Lomas

Do you have a bright idea for how to help your community? Are you thinking about setting up a new charity to do this? Or have you been running a local voluntary group for a while? Should it be a registered charity? In this short article I explore the pros and cons of setting up a new charity and some of the alternatives you could consider for your idea or group.

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Behavioural governance: what is it all about?

Julian Lomas

Since the financial crisis of 2008/9, the emphasis in governance debates has shifted from structural matters towards consideration of the impact of behaviour on the effectiveness of governance. Recen charity scandals show that the sector has no room for complacency in this regard. The July 2018 ICSA report Improving charity boardroom behaviours, builds on the  Charity Governance Code to provide detailed guidance on appropriate behaviours in the governance of charities.


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The importance of integration for mergers to succeed

Julian Lomas

Charity mergers are increasingly common, almost always good for beneficiaries and often a lifeline for one or more of the merging charities. But they can be complex and almost always run into challenges at some point, more often than not during the post-merger integration phase. This blog briefly explores the reasons why challenges arise in charity mergers and what can be done to avoid or manage those challenges more effectively.

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How charities can get the best results from crowdfunding

Julian Lomas

While crowdfunding has grown dramatically as a source of funding for businesses and individuals it hasn’t yet really taken off in the charity sector. This blog argues that this is because it hasn’t been used for the right causes or in the right ways and offers a few tips on how to run a successful crowdfunding campaign. While It isn’t a source of free money (there’s no such thing) I believe crowdfunding does have a place in charity fundraising.

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The ethics of fundraising from businesses

Julian Lomas

Receiving support from businesses can cause difficulties if the values or practices of the business conflict with those of your charity. Some charities will accept funding from any source on the basis that they can use it to do good. Most adopt an ethical stance and define the types of company they will not accept funding from. This blog provides a short introduction to how charities can navigate this minefield without it becoming all-consuming or bureaucratic.

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Using a Logic Model to structure impact assessment

Julian Lomas

Logic Models and Theory of Change can be powerful tools for structuring your charity’s impact story. Most small charities have good outputs data but do not have much evidence that their intervention or activity makes a positive difference to beneficiaries and almost none have evidence of impact beyond immediate beneficiaries. A simple logic model can help plug these gaps without excessive cost. At Almond Tree Strategic Consulting, we frequently use a Logic Model or Theory of Change as a simple framework for developing cost-effective impact assessment frameworks.

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