Training for Charities and Voluntary Organisations in Surrey

Learn new skills to improve your charity knowledge this autumn at training and workshop events covering a wide range of subjects:

  • Working with your Trustees – As a chair a big responsibility is finding and managing good trustees. It is not made easier by the fact most trustees are typically volunteers and have limited time and varied backgrounds. So why not come along to the launch of the working with trustees series where you can meet other chairs and learn good tips and tricks – Tuesday 24/9/19, 6pm-8pm, EC4V, London, £40 or free to AoC members, contact
  • Trustees Duties and Responsibilities – Do you think your trustees understand their responsibilities or if you are a trustee are you confident with what is expected of you? During the seminar there will be a practical look at what it takes to be an effective trustee – 8/10/19, 4:30pm-6:30pm, Guildford Harbour Terrace GU1 3DA, Free, contact, 01483464224
  • Recruiting Trustees – The focus of this trustee event is Recruiting Trustees. It will be an opportunity for the trustees of local nonprofits to share issues and successes and to hear about best practice in recruiting trustees
  • Grant and Trust Application Writing – One day free fundraising course for non profit organisations in Surrey concentrates on structuring and composing applications for grants and trusts (national and local)
  • Social Media and Website Training – One day free social media and web training workshop for not for profit organisations in Surrey led by colleagues at Surrey County Council
  • Volunteering and the Law – This workshop will provide an opportunity to learn about or refresh your knowledge on volunteering and the law. It is designed as an overview of the current legislation relating to volunteers
  • Digital Fundraising – One day free fundraising course for non profit organisations concentrates on the increasing importance of using digital in all it’s forms to raise funds for your charity
  • Successful Volunteer Management – One day free course covering the basics for developing a successful volunteer programme, including interaction and practical activities to allow participants to practice the skills needed to manage volunteers

Sign up using the hyperlinks or contact details and we look forward to seeing you there!

new skills

New Term – New Tricks

NCVO announced this week that 36% of voluntary sector employers believe their staff are missing digital skills. This skills gap is a serious strategic weakness when we should be using technology to raise funds, increase cause awareness and reduce costs by working more efficiently.

There are 5 main digital skills identified as essential for organisations to participate in and contribute to the digital world:

  • communication
  • handling information and content
  • transacting
  • problem solving
  • being safe and legal online

Lloyds Bank Charity Digital Index found that 48% of charities do not have all five digital skills and ‘problem solving’ is the area with the greatest gap. Only 64% of charities are using digital tools and online resources to solve problems, online feedback to improve services, and analytics to optimise websites performance.

To improve your skills we have 2 events in October. On 2/10/19, in the lecture theatre above Weybridge Library, colleagues from Surrey County Council are offering a social media and website workshop with sessions covering:

  • Social Media and Marketing – How should I use Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and everything else?
  • Running a website – Where do I start, what should I think about
  • Web/Content writing – Why should I write differently online?
  • Our website is live, what now?
  • How do I measure who is visiting my website? What do they look at? What do they like or dislike? When should I make changes?

There will be an open panel discussion with all presenters for submitted questions or questions from the floor. Tickets available on Eventbrite.

I’ll be running a Digital Fundraising course on the 22nd October, a free one day course for non profit organisations concentrating on the increasing importance of using digital in all it’s forms to raise funds for your charity. I’m also available one to one for any digital or social media enquiries you have – if I don’t know the answer I’ll find out! Email me at

There is some good news – although there is still room for improvement, the resourcefulness of UK charity sector seems to paying off with the digital capability of UK charities has almost doubled since 2014!


The Joys of Spring (Training)

Over the next 5 weeks we are offering free training to local voluntary organisations as part of our Spring training program. Our goal is to support you and grow the charity sector in North Surrey and we believe that giving you skills through training to fundraise, manage and recruit volunteers and maintain a strong board of trustees is fundamental to your success. 

Why is training important? 

 All too often in the nonprofit world, budget constraints force us to make hard choices between day to day funding of projects and training for employees and volunteers. It may not just be a question of cost, you may not even have time to attend training. We believe that if you measure the outcomes from educating your staff and volunteers as they relate to your organisational goals then money and/or time spent on training is well spent. 

 You may need to recruit a strong board, increase fundraising, embrace digital or retain more volunteers. That makes training in these subjects a good investment for the people expected to realise these goals and this is the training you should prioritise.  

The success of any organisation is due to its people, and that’s particularly true in the case of the charity sector. During these difficult times, you can show their commitment to staff and volunteers by upskilling those who champion the cause and really contribute to helping your organisation achieve its vision.  

 Through training, the need for supervision decreases and your staff and volunteers will make better decisions on their own and solve problems more effectively. Training helps develop leadership talent and communication skills, it decreases fear in attempting new tasks and enables handling of stress, frustration and conflicts. These factors give people a chance to perform better which results in developing feelings of satisfaction in their role.Training develops talents and capabilities which ensure that everyone makes a contribution towards your long term goals. 

 Who to train? 

 Most training is considered for new volunteers or employees and it is good to invest in development of their skills so that they can increase their contribution. But ongoing training of current employees/volunteers is as important since it helps them to adapt their daily routine work according to changing requirements, improves their performance on current role and prepares them for an intended role. Importantly, training inspires new thinking which helps to reduce resistance to change.  

 Why not ask your employees and volunteers to identify training they think would help them in their role. Ask them how they would use the learned knowledge/skills/confidence, how these would benefit the team and how they would share the knowledge.  

 If you only have the money or time to send one person on a course, there are useful things you can do: 

  •  Ask the person who is going on the course to give feedback to other colleagues, share important lessons and any handouts or templates. This also allows the attendee to review and reinforce their learning, meaning that it’s more likely to have an impact.  
  •  Contact a training provider and see if they can come and deliver the training specifically for your team – it is often cheaper. You could also think about sharing a trainer with another voluntary group with similar training needs. 

 What are your training options? 

 Excitingly, there are an increasing number of training options: 

  •  We offer face to face training in one of our three offices on the subjects of fundraising, social media, volunteer recruitment and management and governance. There are also a number of local options offered by other volunteer centres and the Surrey Skills Academy. 
  •  Why not set up (or join) an informal network to find peer support where questions, problems and advice are shared and discussed. 
  •  E-learning is an accessible way for staff to learn. Some infrastructure organisations are offering bite-size and accessible training for smaller organisations to access as and when they need it. Have a look at Media Trust, NCVO KnowHow and the Small Charities Coalition. 
  •  As part of their corporate social responsibility, some of the larger search engine and social media platforms offer free training such a google Digital Garage and Facebook Blueprint and don’t forget YouTube with its many ’how to’ videos. 
  •  Webinars can help geographically isolated charities or those short of time and low on office cover. You don’t even need to participate – just sign in, listen and learn. 

 Finally, use your social media to find blogs to follow – ask other groups what information fills their inboxes and have a look. We suggest MediaTrust, Third SectorHubspotNCVO, White FuseUK Fundraising to get you started.


Why Should I be an NCVO Member?

The National Council of Voluntary Services supports the voluntary sector and volunteering because we’re essential for a better society.  They support 14,000 member organisations – a third of the voluntary sector workforce in England and help us all by providing expert advice, news and current third sector legislation.

Every day in our North Surrey community ordinary people make a difference through voluntary organisations and volunteering. In our work to support those groups we make regular use of the information provided by the NCVO.

What benefits do they offer to members?

  • NCVO Knowhow has step-by-step how-to guides and case studies, template documents, toolkits and policies on a wide range of essential subjects including governance, volunteering and HR. They have information and guidance on topics from how to start a charity, to funding, managing people and volunteers, and governance.
  • Online training in the Studyzone – where you can watch courses on topics including governance, communications, volunteer management and strategy.
  • Follow them on social media to get up to date national and political news on the UK voluntary sector @NCVO and @NCVOvolunteers
  • Funding Central provides access to a grants database and weekly emails of tailored funding advice and information. This service is free to organisations with income under £100,000.

There are so many other ways for you to benefit from their support and for those of you with an income of less than £30,000 membership is free.

Have a look at what they offer and how you can be a member here





Brush up your skills for Autumn with VSNS training

Available time and access to affordable training has always been a problem for the voluntary sector. According to a survey by the Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI), lack of skills in small charities cause an increased workload and poor productivity.

More than half of small charities said they had a noticeable skills gaps within their organisation and the areas identified as having the poorest performance ratings include: fundraising, engaging and working with businesses, use of IT and social media.

The impact of the skills gaps is an increased workload for colleagues, increased time to deliver work and decreased the ability to take on new work.

We are committed to improving the skills of voluntary organisations in North Surrey, to give groups the tools to carry out their work and help our community. Please take advantage of our autumn training courses on offer:

Surrey Community Foundation Fundraising Workshop, Wed 5th September – 10 am until 12 noon, VSNS Chertsey office, 6 The Sainsbury Centre, Chertsey KT16 9AG

Employment Law and HR Top Tips – Trustee Network Event, Mon 17th September – 10.30am to 12.30pm, Enterprise Rent a Car in Egham.

Recruitment of Volunteers, Tues 18th September – 10 am to 1.30 pm, VSNS Spelthorne office, First Floor, Staines Library, Friends Walk Staines TW18 4PG

Grant Application Writing Training, Wednesday 26th September – 10 am to 3 pm, VSNS Chertsey office, 6 The Sainsbury Centre, Chertsey KT16 9AG

Digital Fundraising Training, Wed 17th October – 10 am until 3 pm, VSNS Spelthorne office, First Floor, Staines Library, Friends Walk Staines TW18 4PG

Retaining and Motivating Volunteers, Thurs 25th October  – 9.30 am to 1 pm, VSNS Runnymede office, 6, The Sainsbury Centre, Chertsey KT16 9AG

Emergency First Aid at Work, Tues 30th October – from 9.30 am to 4 pm, VSNS Chertsey office, 6 The Sainsbury Centre, Chertsey KT19 6AG).  The course will lead to an ‘Emergency in First Aid at Work’ certificate.

Volunteering and the Law, Thurs 15th November  – 10 am to 1 pm, Camberley Library,  Knoll Road, Camberley GU15 3SY

Introduction to Legacy Fundraising, Tues 20th November – 9:30 am to 1 pm, VSNS Chertsey office, 6 The Sainsbury Centre, Chertsey KT16 9AG

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