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The Free Charity Excellence Framework Online Toolkit - User Guide


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The CEF enables non-profits to increase impact, financial resources and overall performance, in every area. They rate its ease of use and low workload as 9/10. The 8 questionnaites take 30 mins each, there's an interactive dashboard, 4000+ links to free resources and a quality mark; all free.

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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The Free Charity Excellence Framework Online Toolkit - User Guide

  2. 2. Impact on Every Area - users reported a real impact for every one of the 27 criteria that they assessed, including improved governance, and increased organisational impact and management team effectiveness. Increasing Financial Resources - links to 200+ organisations that provide free services & goods, improve income generation, minimise financial inefficiency, maximise tax reliefs and funder assurance. Easy to Use and Low Workload - Users rated both ease of use and the CEF’s low workload 9/10 and that using it actually reduced their workload. “SIMPLE, EASY TO ANSWER AND UNDERSTAND QUESTIONS THAT MAKE YOU SIT UP AND THINK!” The Sunlight Trust
  3. 3. Initial Set-up – takes 2 mins and each questionnaire 30. Scoring questionnaires – strategy, governance, income, people, operations, risk, finance & resources and communications. In-system support – makes it incredibly easy to use. Interactive dashboard – the key issues, at a glance - 2 clicks to everything. Reports – click any dashboard number to run a report and access the resources. Query system – save time carrying out management checks and ad hoc queries. Resources – thousands of links to resources, free goods/services, and advice & support. Action plans – make planning fast and simple. Additional users – enables others to help you and use the system. Quality Mark – demonstrating your commitment to excellence, with no extra workload. ‘Whilst it has created key focuses for us, the joy of the system is that it also give us guidance, templates and key documents to make this as smooth and as easy as possible for us. It is really easy to use and isn’t overly onerous (apart from making you think)’. Andover & District Mencap “THE QUESTIONS ARE PHRASED BRILLIANTLY - CHALLENGING HOW WE PRIORITISE OUR MANAGEMENT TIME.” Ecosystems Knowledge Network CLICK ON THE LINKS IN THE TITLES BELOW TO GO TO THE RELEVANT SECTION.
  4. 4. Creating questionnaires that meet your specific needs. On 1st login, complete your My Profile page - click on the pen symbol (top right), select everything that applies and nothing that doesn’t, then click ‘save’. That’s all the system needs to create a unique set of questionnaires, to meet your specific needs, based on your size, activities, sectors and countries you’re based in. INITIAL SET-UP 2 MINS You can upload your logo, to be displayed on your reports Click for initial set-up, or to edit
  5. 5. Click on Questionnaires (1) select the one you want (2), then click on Start Questionnaire (3). SCORING QUESTIONNAIRES 30 MINS EACH 1 2 3 CONTINUED ON THE NEXT PAGE ▼
  6. 6. Score how important the activity is to you (1) and the extent to which you are achieving it (2), or select Not Applicable (3). You can save your scores as a draft (4), at any time. Click on any Help link for free goods/ services and access to advice/ support, or Resource/External Links for toolkits, templates, policies and guidance. SCORING QUESTIONNAIRES OPTIMISING FOR YOUR PRIORITIES 4 1 3 2
  7. 7. The system works for any non- profit and anyone can use it, even if you don’t have expertise in a particular area. Statements are in plain English, with Explanation of Terms for any technical terms, Resources/ External Links for more information and Help for advice and support. Click on a ? symbol anywhere in the system for an explanation of what it does, how to use it and how it will help you. IN-SYSTEM SUPPORT ANYONE CAN USE IT Downloads from resource base Links to external resources Help with technical terms Links to advice/ supportClick any ? symbol for more info
  8. 8. Results are displayed in your 3 top level dials and analysed in the tables below. The stakeholder assurance table tracks key funder issues and provides data for funding bids and other reports. Click on any number to create a detailed report, optimised for your priorities. Click on a ? symbol anywhere in the system for an explanation of what it does, how to use it and how it will help you. USING YOUR INTERACTIVE DASHBOARD 2 CLICKS TO REACH EVERYTHING Click any ? symbol for more info
  9. 9. Make planning simple by clicking Export to download your report, as an action plan. REPORTS ACTION PLANS & RESOURCES Click any ‘eye’ symbol to display resource links. Use Help for links to free goods/services and people to help you. Download Action Plan
  10. 10. Resources/External Links – toolkits, templates, checklists, policies and guides. Help – pro bono, consultancy, training, software/hardware, consumer goods, office/meeting space, fundraising platforms and much more. Help – secondments, mentoring, advisers & advice lines, charity social media networking groups and e-mail alerts. There are so many, the system finds the ones you need, so you don’t have to. Click on the one you want to bring it up on screen. FREE RESOURCES 4000+ LINKS
  11. 11. Save time carrying out routine management checks and answering ad hoc queries, by creating your own reports, using the 100 query criteria, and exporting an action plan. You can assess not only activities such as financial management and data protection, but also ‘soft’ issues, such as decision making and wellbeing, for one or more groups of people. QUERY SYSTEM SAVING YOU TIME Use the query menu to select multiple criteria Select ‘Any’ or ‘All’ to filter your query results Click to export any report as an action plan
  12. 12. The Quality Mark provides demonstrable evidence to funders and others of your commitment to excellence, and the dashboard Assurance table, data for funding bids and reports. There’s no additional workload. You can also add additional users to help you and enable them to benefit from its capabilities and extensive resources. Join our community at It’s free and works for any UK non- profit, including Scottish, Northern Irish and UK based international charities, and CICs. QUALITY MARK & ADDITIONAL USERS ASSURANCE FOR FUNDERS Quality mark progressAdditional users
  13. 13. “The Charity Excellence Framework asks questions that make you think, .....and, crucially, provides resources to support the charity’s continued drive for excellence. I recommend it to all charities”. The Bumblebee Conservation Trust