Information Sources

Article modified: July 2016, Author:

Key sector information sites

Other key resources

  • Directory of Social Change Training, conferences and information (a wide range of publications) for the voluntary sector. Particularly known for fundraising advice, but covers most aspects of running a charity.
  • Business in the Community encourages all sorts of involvement by commercial organisations with not-for-profits. In Scotland, try Scottish Business in the Community.
  • JustAct – “how to make things happen and improve your community” – is developing a ‘knowledge bank‘ pointing to resources particularly useful to community organisations, but many will have wider relevance.

News sources

  • Our VoluntaryNews website carries practical news for charities, voluntary organisations, community groups, social enterprises etc. Note that most material will appear first in the weekly email newsletter, so sign up for that if you want to be up-to-date.
  • VoluntaryNews also has a page listing websites carrying news for voluntary organisations – more than just the occasional press release. Some of those appearing above, and other specialist sites listed elsewhere, will also carry relevant news for their areas.

Other media

  • Community Channel broadcasts television programmes on Sky and Virgin 24 hours a day and Freeview early in the morning.

Also see: Getting your message across.

Blogs, Social Media

Blogs and forums often come with RSS (news) feeds built-in – a simple way to deliver summaries of frequently changing web content via news readers or similar tools.

  • Our CharityBlog, as well as rounding up social media (mainly tweets) of interest, lists a range of blogs produced by and for people involved in charities, including those designed to be read by a wider audience (donors, members, volunteers, general public).
  • Discussion lists and forums connected with a specific function (e.g. IT support) will appear on the relevant page covering support bodies.

Directories – voluntary organisations, charities

There are a number of websites vying to be the directory of choice. The online registers from the charity regulators are also generally quite useful.

  • GuideStar is based on the database held by Charity Commission (England and Wales) registered charities. Charities are encouraged to expand on their entries.
  • Get Involved “is powered by a collaboration of infrastructure organisations across Scotland”.
  • Open Charities is a project “to open up the UK Charities Register” (although it only has done England and Wales so far).
  • Charity Financials (was Charities Direct) from Caritas Data. They claim to have regularly updated info on over 10,000 charities, although there have been queries about how accurate it is. Also lists/profiles various professional advisers.
  • Charity Choice This database is also available in hard copy. Online you can search by category, name, location, charity registration number etc. Has phone numbers and some web site links. From business information publisher, Wilmington.
  • CharityLibrary hasn’t developed very far (approx 2000 with some form of listing at spring 2014).

Useful non-UK sites

The following are worth checking out if you have a) the time b) the inclination to filter out the foreign, mainly American, specific content. Remember that legal matters, non-profit boards and the whole approach to philanthropy/giving can be very different to that in the UK.

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