Cranfield Trust Leadership Programme

Could your organisation benefit from management support from The Harpur Trust and The Cranfield Trust?


Over the past four years The Harpur Trust and The Cranfield Trust have run two leadership programmes that have supported a number of Bedford’s voluntary organisations with funding and intensive management support to help them become more sustainable in the challenging climate.

We are delighted to have worked with some great organisations in Bedford through these programmes, and are launching a new programme in early 2016, applications are now open.

The new programme will offer support at different levels, to help local organisations with tailored advice, learning events or with major development.  Support offered will be

Level 1

Advice Days:

Voluntary organisations sometimes have challenges which need external advice and support – fast.  The Cranfield Trust has a network of volunteer consultants from the commercial sector – local business people who give their time to help charities – who can give advice on specific management issues.

Get Involved

First Advice Day will be held in April 2016 No application necessary, registration will open in March 2016 Charities will be asked to submit information on discussion topics/main challenges on registering

Level 2

Workshops and Management Masterclasses:

The Cranfield Trust has run workshops and masterclasses on management topics as part of previous programmes, and now these events will be open to a wider group of voluntary organisations in Bedford.  Topics in 2016-17 are likely to include:

  • Getting ready for commissioning
  • Governance:
  • Effective Financial Management – previous event write up
  • Intelligent and Effective Marketing

Get Involved

“Getting ready for Commissioning” Masterclass will be held in May 2016 Registration will open in March 2016

 Level 3

Local Leadership Programme:

This is the most intensive and substantial support offered, for organisations which are aiming for considerable change and development over a two year period from Spring 2016.  The programme will include:

  • A thorough review of operations identifying possible areas for support and development
  • Action planning to manage through the challenges of the coming 12-24 months
  • Support programme of tailored one to one consultancy projects to address key operational and board issues, delivered by The Cranfield Trust’s skilled volunteer consultants from the commercial sector

In addition to this, organisations selected for the Leadership Programme only will receive core funding from The Harpur Trust to enable them to devote time and energy to the programme.  Those with an income of £250,000 or above can apply for up to £15,000, those with incomes of £100,000 to £250,000 up to £10,000 and smaller organisations will be eligible for up to £5,000

Organisations interested in taking part in the Leadership Programme will be required to undertake an application and assessment process.  Five organisations will be selected to take part, and applicants will be assessed using the following criteria.  They must be:

  • Organisations with high potential to achieve social change through effective service delivery or other activity
  • Based and operating within the Borough of Bedford
  • Formally constituted non profit bodies
  • Working in the areas of poverty, disability or social exclusion
  • Knowledgeable about their service user base and issues affecting their particular field

In addition they should:

  • Demonstrate a commitment to tackling social problems in an innovative way
  • Provide clear evidence of need and demand for their services
  • Have clear objectives & targets and a process in place to monitor progress
  • Have an established track record, and some previous relationship with the Harpur Trust (not necessarily a grant awarded)
  • Have a vision for the future of their organisation (and some evidence of forward planning)
  • Have an appropriate management structure to enable planning and financial management (good governance)
  • Have a board and staff with the skills , aptitude & commitment to undertake the leadership programme

Get Involved

Launch event for new Leadership Programme will be held on 21 January, 2016 Application deadline is 19th February 2016