Enhance Support during COVID-19

How our Enhance Programme can support your charity

We provide a range of development support to help strengthen charities via our Enhance programme. However, we know that this is a difficult time for charities as they try to identify ways to continue operating effectively and managing the concerns of staff whilst effectively supporting their clients. We have therefore increased or adapted our support to meet these priority needs as a result of COVID-19.

Each situation is likely to be unique and the Foundation will consider your needs on a case by case basis.

Any charity in need of support should speak to their Foundation Manager to explore the issue and we will try to provide the support needed through our network of Enhance partners.

If you are interested in any of the support programmes below, please contact your Foundation Manager in the first instance. 

We have also produced a series of webinars with our Enhance Partners to help you tackle and respond to some of the main challenges of COVID-19. Watch our previously streamed webinars below or sign up to future online events. 

If you are an Enhance Partner looking for information on how to help charities respond to the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19, please visit our guidance, here. 

Support Available


Robust Systems and Processes

HR and Operations

Remote Working



Communications and Influencing

Impact Measurement




Peer to Peer Support

We know that charity leaders are the experts and are able to respond to the many challenges that they are presented with.

However,  we understand that, on occasion, they would benefit from hearing from another Charity Leader to bounce idea’s, tackle issues or get support.  

If you have an issue which you’re struggling to resolve, simply email your Foundation Manager with the heading “Peer Support request” and they will forward to all charities in their portfolio and connect you to those which respond.   

Similarly, if you’ve managed to resolve a challenge which you think others may be struggling with email simply email your Foundation Manager with “Good Practice tip and the issue (e.g. Good Practice Tip – How to write a business continuity plan) and they will share with the charities in their portfolio. We may also include some of these in our grantee newsletters or on our website.  

Resiliency Coaching

We recognise that this is a time of unprecedented challenge, which may have an impact on charity leaders and their staff’s mental wellbeing.  

  • Our Enhance Partner Bird can deliver seven 45 minute resiliency coaching sessions (over 3 months) by phone to members of staff or Management team.  
  • Alternatively, it may be that a CEO needs more short-term “crisis” support, and we can adapt this and offer three sessions (one per week). 

Adapt a Delivery Model

A charity may need to redesign its services to ensure it can reach those most vulnerable. We can provide:

  • Consultancy support from our independent consultants to help the charity to do this which can be more “hands-on” than facilitative. Tailored to your needs.
  • Coaching support from a qualified coach to help your Chief Executives or Senior Managers to explore how they can adapt their organisation's plans and programmes to respond to the current challenges and uncertainties (this programme offers six 1 hour sessions, delivered either weekly or fortnightly).  
  • Support from our Enhance Partner, Eastside Primetimers, with 2 days of consultancy support  to look at and respond to potential short and long-term impacts on service delivery models. This includes increased digital/remote content, reduced opportunities for group work, reduced volunteer availability, the need to change fundraising strategies, shifts in beneficiary needs.



ACEVO Membership

If you’re not already an ACEVO member and would like to join, the Foundation will cover your membership fee for the first year. This offer is only available to Chief Executives.  As an ACEVO member, you will gain access to a package of support specially designed with the CEO in mind. This includes:

  • a personalised leadership development plan,
  • an experienced mentor from within the ACEVO network,
  • individual coaching delivered in partnership with Henley Business School,
  • online tools and resources,
  • member briefings,
  • publications,
  • policy representation
  • and more. 

In addition, you will also have access to their “TALK TO US” offer:   

“This is an extraordinary time. We want to support you during this period of uncertainty. No matter what you are facing in your professional life, we are here to listen and support your wellbeing. You are not alone. 

If you are struggling, need advice or a sounding board, or would just like to share what is going on for you, simply email info@acevo.org.uk with the heading ‘Talk to us’. Our support team, Jenny and Tom, will get in touch to arrange a one to one call. They will listen and be there for you. If they can’t support you directly, then they will link you with the information or contacts that can”



Coaching/Mentoring Support

We recognise that charity leaders are achieving high pressure balancing acts as we all respond to COVID-19, delivering vital services, listening to the concerns and anxieties of their employees, volunteers, supporters and crucially, service users. 

The 'COVID-19 Survival Response' via our Enhance partner Michelle Hurst will apply  Miles Downey’s T-GROW coaching model (Topic-Goal, Reality, Options/Obstacles, Will do/Way forward) as a structure through the following ways: 

  1. 4 x 1 hour sessions over one month delivered by telephone / Zoom / FaceTime to clarify the way forward / focus on a particular challenge (e.g. personal resilience,  leading teams in challenging times, comms, planning and executing crisis response)  or simply having an objective professional listen and act as a sounding board.


  1. Up to 5 half days’ time allocation where calls are followed by hands on remote support and co-production of plans (e.g. communication plan, crisis action plan, forecast, resilience action plan)

Michelle is a trained coach, has senior leadership experience in charity and banking including responsibility for teams and board membership during significant crisis management and change situations.  



Cranfield Trust 

Support from an experienced Mentor can be a lifeline, offering advice, guidance and a listening ear to help leaders work through their decisions and to provide personal support at a time of real challenge.  

Through our Enhance partner Cranfield Trust, we can support Charity Leaders through the Trust’s Project Managers who match them with a mentor to provide 7-8 hour long mentoring sessions over 4-5 months.


Robust Systems and Processes

Adapting your premises to allow staff & volunteers to safely return to work

Ethical Property Foundation can provide tailored support to help you understand government guidelines and plan the relevant adaptations you need to make to your premises to allow staff and visitors to safely return to work.  A specialist consultant will help you conduct a risk assessment that will provide recommendations addressing the following:

  • How the flow of staff and visitors works.
  • Physical and procedural of entrance to building and subsequent internal areas including reference to maximum numbers of visitors and or staff, CCTV, speaker/microphone and fob system control options.
  • Pathway options around building with reference to possible one-way-systems

aided by signage or barrier methods

  • Hygienic control of surfaces, including floors, walls, ceilings, and worktop surfaces. This may involve options for changes to actual materials used and/or procedures
  • Specification of furniture for example fabric covered seating or plastic options.
  • Interface of visitors and staff. This would incorporate a review of procedures, but also immediate environment such as temporary/permanent “sneeze” screening and 2 metres distancing. This would also incorporate positioning and styling of furniture, particularly within “interview” or meeting rooms and existing use of sofas for meetings or otherwise
  • General maintenance procedures particularly including instructions for cleaning and timing and frequency of “deep cleans”.
  • Air extraction systems.
  • “Hot spot” risk areas, including kitchen, drink service areas and other food preparation areas.



Reopening Post COVID-19

Whether charities have already re-opened, are doing so this week, next week or in a few months, there will be a lot to consider.  To think beyond the ‘now’ is much easier when you have someone else to share ideas, help, guide through change.  This is where a Cranfield Trust consultant can help.

The Trust has developed guidelines and a process to support charity leaders through re-opening as well as mentoring through change. Using their in-house tools the Trust Project Manager and/or Consultant will work through four key phases outlined here.

Learn more.



HR and Operations

At this unprecedented time, we know that some charities may need technical HR advice at short notice, quick and flexible response to one-off, discrete requests for support. Our developmental support can help you adapt to the new normal and provide quick turnaround support for your HR needs. 

Roots HR

Roots HR can provide this via telephone support. 


This is a bespoke service, but topics may include: 

  • Home-working practice (if you have a policy but would need to make sure everyone’s equipped, keeping data confidential etc) 
  • How would pay be affected if your staff are not able to work from home but your services are reduced? 
  • How would pay be affected if staff needed to self-isolate but aren’t ill themselves



Our Enhance Partner, Cranfield Trust provide HRNET - a free on-line HR Advisory service which all charities are welcome to register and join to find up to date information on HR issues and also ask questions. 

You can also access 1:1 telephone support from experts on topics including finance, communication, and business contingency planning, or a friendly, supportive discussion to cover a range of issues

An offer of telephone advice from a Trust Project Manager or an specialist volunteer consultant, giving leaders the chance to discuss immediate problems and challenges, or to explore where to get further support from Cranfield Trust or other providers.  Frequent topics at present include:

  • Reviewing future plans – confirming strategy and developing more detailed practical steps to guide your organisation at a difficult time
  • Financial issues – understanding your financial position, cashflow forecasting
  • Organisation resilience – what you need to do to stabilise and sustain your organisation
  • A sounding board for Chief Executives and managers – discussing a range of issues 

Please call Cranfield Trust direct on  01794 830338 or e-mail at talktous@cranfieldtrust.org with ‘On Call’ and the organisation name in the subject line,  they will then make contact to schedule a call with the most suitable Project Manager or an appropriate volunteer consultant.  Alternatively, You can request a call via the website; https://www.cranfieldtrust.org/pages/172-cranfield-trust-on-call

WATCH: A Practical Guide to Re-Opening after COVID Closedown

Steve Hodgson of Cranfield Trust, delivers a webinar providing information to charities on a wide number of areas to consider before re-opening including;

  • Staff availability and team rotations 
  • Transportation to and from work
  • Visitors Temperature and other screening
  • Workspaces and common areas 
  • Cleaning protocols and PPE 
  • IT provision, accessories and furniture 
  • Awareness and education 
  • Handling unwell staff and reinfection responses 

Watch now


WATCH: Managing Your Team Through a Pandemic

Hosted by Jan Golding, CEO & Lead Consultant of Roots HR CIC, this webinar will support you as you navigate your teams through the uncertainty of a pandemic. The webinar covers furlough leave, redundancy and how you can support staff who are self-isolating, sick, homeschooling or who are affected by lay off and short term working.

Watch now




Remote Working

Home-working is becoming a reality for many of the charities we partner with. Our developmental support packages from our Enhance Partners can help you adapt and provide one to one support to help you set up remote working to continue to deliver your services. 


Computer Recyclers UK (CRUK)

Package available to help charities who need hardware (desktop/laptops) to establish home working for their staff.

CRUK can offer refurbished IT hardware pre-loaded and licenced with Windows 10 Professional, Microsoft Office 2010 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook) & Windows Defender (Antivirus), and include 6-month warranties and delivery. 

Charities will need to ensure they have the necessary insurance, policies and security systems in place. Please note that this offer is contingent upon CRUK being able to provide services under the immediate crisis. 


Reason Digital

One-to-one consultation sessions with a digital expert via phone or video conferencing, depending on your preference. Topics could include:   


  • What software would work best for your charity, 
  • How to set up specific platforms, 
  • Advice around keeping teams motivated while homeworking and the software you can use to help, 
  • Resources to help with continued public engagement, 
  • And more. 

Book a 30-minute slot on our online calendar

You’ll be asked your name, charity number, email address and phone number so we know how to get in touch with you. If you have anything specific, you’d like to discuss, please say on this form. 




We recognise that charities might need support with cashflow forecasting for the short/medium term as a result of a loss of income from charity fundraising and other income streams.  

The below offers are examples of ways developmental support available through our Enhance Partners can help. If you require more information or support, please contact your Foundation Manager.


Embrace Finance

Our Enhance partner, Liz Pepler at Embrace Finance is offering 6 (weekly)  75 minute zoom or telephone mentoring sessions to support you with any of your charity finance challenges e.g cashflow forecasting for the short/medium term as a result of a loss of income from charity fundraising and other income streams.  

Liz is an experienced small charity finance director, trustee and grant-maker. She is a certified bookkeeper and member of the IAB. Liz’s mentoring services have been recognised in the 2020 and 2018 IAB mentoring awards.





If your organisation is struggling and you are concerned about your ability to carry on delivering the vital services to your community our Enhance partner – Locality can help you via its business turnaround support service.

Every situation is different, and the support provided will be tailored to your organisation’s needs but may include:  

  • A review of your current situation, including an assessment of critical issues around cashflow 
  • Advice and guidance to help you access the support available following the government announcement 
  • Help you to identify how to cover non-salary related costs  




Our Enhance partner, Eastside Primetimes can offer support with short-term financial resilience.  Two days of consultancy support to help with cash flow projections/budget reforecasting and identifying mitigation actions - e.g. securing forward payments, renegotiating rents, accessing emergency funding sources.   It may also involve reviewing staffing options to address reduced staff availability; social distancing requirements; accommodate furloughing. 





We recognise that for many small charities which rely on a charity retail business for the majority of their cash flow, that drop in footfall and subsequently in sales will be a significant challenge. Our Enhance Partners can help you navigate new income streams and adapt your fundraising strategy. 



Our Enhance partner FSI, can offer light-touch consultancy support to talk the charity through current income challenges and to help them navigate the next few months. This will include:   

  • Two-hour zoom or skype call to better understand their needs, challenges, strengths and opportunities and to offer initial advice/steer on where best to focus and prioritise their efforts.
  • Co-production of short-term fundraising plan (covering activity over next 3-6 months) with clear recommendations and signposting to further resources and support.  To include at least one further call or Zoom/Skype to discuss the priorities and clarify any recommendations. This plan might be an update to an existing fundraising strategy, a new short-term plan covering multiple types of fundraising, or focused on a particular type of fundraising depending on the charity’s needs. For example it could include:
    • Reviewing a current fundraising plan and assessing the likely impact of the crisis, reforecasting targets, and identifying where resource is best spent at the moment to make up a shortfall.
    • Supporting charities to navigate the large number of COVID-19 emergency funds, looking at identifying which ones are most relevant to the charity in question and then helping with and reviewing the applications.
    • Supporting charities with COVID-19 response campaigns/appeals and developing a good ask/key messaging/engaging case for support etc.  To include reviewing what charities have at the moment in terms of case for support, make recommendations to improve that, look at the best method of delivery for an appeal and help the charity craft the wording.
  • Ongoing support with implementation in the three months following the report via an hour monthly call or skype. This will be flexible depending on the charity’s needs but typically involves a blend of advice and mentoring support.  For example, critical friend review of funding applications or fundraising comms, advice on a specific conversation with a donor or supporter. 




The Charity Retail Consultancy

Our Enhance partner The Charity Retail Consultancy  can help you: 



  • Develop online sales, guiding you through the stages required to develop a sustainable and successful online offer, primarily through eBay, to help you create a new and sustainable income stream.
  • With Mentoring support; bringing a different perspective, being a sounding board, helping you to sort out the many and complex issues of running a charity retail operation  and helping you to focus on the most important issues, and to support and motivate you in these stressful and challenging times.

They have also created an E-learning package for charities with shops.

This is designed with furloughed charity shop teams in mind, these four online sessions provide practical ideas and guidance around some of the key drivers to ensuring you are making the very most from your charity shops.   Each session is approximately one hour and is delivered in the form of slides with an accompanying narration. There are exercises for participants to do throughout each session and a takeaway “Ideas and Action” plan, which encourages staff to think about what they will do to improve their shop when they return to work. The session content is as follows:

  • Volunteer Recruitment and Retention
  • Stock Acquisition and Management
  • Customer Service
  • Space Management

To find out more, please get in touch with your Foundation Manager



Our Enhance Partner, Eastside Primetimes can provide 2 days of E-commerce support designed to help charities and social enterprises which generate income from selling things and need to move to online sales. 

The package can support charities to understand and access a ladder of e-commerce options ranging from free DIY solutions, affordable 'shopping care' solutions to those that enable scaling and integration with other services.  

A recent example is a city farm that sold plants and produce on site but now needs a means of online distribution. Other examples might include community cafes wanting to expand into online delivery.  



WATCH: Digital Fundraising for Small Charities 

Matt Haworth, Co-Founder & Director of Reason Digital delivers a webinar where he shares techniques and strategies charities can use to raise money online and gave some tips on immediate action you can take.

Watch now



Communication and Influencing


WATCH: How to Communicate in a Crisis

Our Influencing Officer Lydia Rye and Katherine Sladden, digital campaigns and communications specialist, discuss thing to consider when responding to a crisis. This two-part series also offers reflections and learnings for small charities and community groups when communicating in a crisis.

Part One | Part Two



Impact Measurement


Coalition for Efficiency is offering free Impact Chats and free access to the online Learning Labs for all small charities and social enterprises.


  • Impact Chats - we are offering a 1-hour online session to discuss the implications of Covid-19 on your current approach to impact measurement. We will provide direct support where we can and signpost you to useful resources. To find out more, please get in touch with your Foundation Manager
  • It is running regular Learning Labs for Measuring the Good community which we are currently making available to any small charity or social enterprise. For more details about upcoming events and webinars, please visit the Eventbrite page
  • Follow CfE on LinkedIn and Twitter for impact-related news, tools and resources.




NCVO Charities Evaluation Service- using data to make good decisions about your future

Staff and leaders must have the right data to make good decisions. Many charities are likely to face significant funding and income challenges over the next 12 months and senior leaders will be making big decisions about existing service delivery, future projects and programmes, and organisational strategy and structure, as well as exploring how to respond to the changing needs of users. Our support will focus on ensuring you have the best data to inform your decision-making processes. With virtual coaching and mentoring support from NCVO, we will explore:

  • What decisions do you and your charity need to make in the short-term?
  • What information and data do you need to inform that decision-making process?
  • What data do you currently collect and how can you use it?
  • How can you collect the additional data you need?

We will help you identify and understand the data you currently collect, consider how to use this most effectively in your decision making, review gaps, and develop a plan for collecting the right data you need (in a way that is realistic and appropriate).


What have we missed?  

We will continue to develop new packages of support with our network of Enhance Partners. Please let us know if there is any additional support you need.  

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