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Organisational Resilience Programme

This programme and accompanying guide supports charities and organisations to look at their resilience. It will support you to identify strengths to build upon and your weaknesses that may need addressing.

Organisational Resilience is the ability of an organisation to anticipate, prepare for, respond and adapt to incremental change and sudden disruptions in order to survive and prosper.

British Standards Institution and Cranfield School of Management

In partnership with The Good Ship, Embrace Finance and Mavrix Innovations and developed with charities funders and commissioners, we have created a simple programme and accompanying guide to help organisations look at their resilience. The approach is made up of three pillars, Purpose, Money and People and under each pillar sits a series of organisational resilience principles.


Principle 1: Understands and clearly articulates its value and purpose

Principle 2: invests in developing its internal resilience, and its interaction with external stakeholders

Principle 3: Thinks and acts strategically and prepares effectively for an uncertain future

Principle 4: Creates a joined-up working culture where all disciplines work towards a collective purpose


Principle 5: Is led and managed with financial confidence and supported with robust financial management

Principle 6: Builds an appropriate level of financial security and creates financially resilient external relationships

Principle 7: Assesses and manages internal and external risk to respond and adapt to change


Principle 8: Has a Board and leadership team who invest in good governance

Principle 9: Recruits and develops people who bring a diversity of experiences and knowledge to the decision making and delivery processes

Principle 10: Is open to learning and sharing knowledge which enables people to respond and adapt to change

Download the guide


This guide takes you through the approach and principles of organisational resilience. It also offers tools on how to prepare, plan and reflect on the subject and how to make the most of the guide.

This programme encourages charities and organisations to consider the external environment - or system - they operate in, for example how they work with commissioners, other service providers, infrastructure bodies and funders.

This programme is not a diagnostic tool, nor does it have all the answers because every organisation and context is different. Through using this guide, you will identify strengths to build on and weaknesses that may need addressing. You will decide which areas to focus your attention on first.

If you have questions about the guide or want to have a chat about how you might use it within your organisation please get in touch with us - we'd love to hear from you and support you to use the guide

I’m able to think strategically, and I can work across the organisation now, even on areas like finance that aren’t my core expertise

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I use the guide on my own or is it best to go through it with my team?

This journey can be done alone, but it will be better with diverse views so we'd encourage you to get all levels of your staff team and volunteers involved in this process. 

Can I use the guide with a peer group or a system we work within? 

This is a great way to think about your resilience, on page 6 of the guide, you'll find information on how you can use the guide as a peer-facilitated programme or with other organisations you regularly work with such as commissioners, infrastructure bodies, funders and other service providers.

How long does the programme take to complete? 

There is no specific time frame to work through the guide. Building resilience is an active journey that requires attention and time to think through and reflect.  This may mean setting aside a specific time or just turning off notifications. It’s best to do this by setting aside specific times.

Where should I start with the guide?

Once you've familiarised yourself with the framework, start with the organisational resilience preparation tool (page 8). This tool is designed to help you think through why this work is important to you, how you will carry this work out and who you will involve.

Do we need to go through all the 'discovery questions' under each principle?

These question sets are designed to help you think through the principles in your own organisation. Some you may be able to answer easily, others not. You can use just one or all of the questions. Some might generate more questions than answers, this is ok.

Where can I go for more help and guidance on how to use the guide? 

If you're in receipt of a grant from us speak to your Regional Manager, if you're not we'd still like to hear from you and you can email Clarissa Stoneman - Development Associate, who will be happy to help. 


Read more about our Organisational Resilience work