Regulatory Bodies

If you have concerns about services provided by the utilities, want to object to offensive advertising, argue against government agency decisions, here are the contacts. All the web sites listed will have details of addresses, phone numbers, and nearly all will describe what they cover, what they can’t deal with, and the procedure you need to follow. Some studying here is likely to save time in wasted approaches.

Utility/Industry Regulators

Utility regulators mainly deal with pricing matters and aren’t very good at explaining their complaints procedure on their sites. See also Media/communications below.

Government/local council regulators

Other areas: start out at Gov.uk.

The Ombudsman Association has a list of members.

Also note Centre for Public Scrutiny – online resource for auditors or scrutineers of public sector bodies. “Not only to hold executives to account but also to create a constructive dialogue between the public and its elected representatives” on public services.

Government Departmental websites are on the Lobby page.

Not-for profit and social regulators

  • Independent Complaints Reviewer investigates complaints about Land Registry, The National Archives, The Northern Ireland Youth Justice Agency, Children’s Commissioner for Wales.


Fundraising

Charity fundraising is regulated in a number of ways. Local authorities licence street collections, while the Charity Commission (in England and Wales) registers and oversees accounting and reporting.

Media/Communications

  • Office of Communication, Ofcom, covers telecoms , media (radio, television, but not BBC) and more.
  • Advertising Standards Authority This includes advertising on non-broadcast electronic media (eg CD-ROM, internet). Phone 020 7580 5555
  • Press Complaints Commission Phone 020 7353 1284.
  • ISPA Not a statutory regulator, but reputable Internet Service Providers generally belong. The Code of Practice is quite large – see under Consumer Issues.
  • Phone-paid Services Authority for telephone Premium Rate Services complaints or enquiries – includes charity donations, gambling, competitions etc.

Membership, Mailing and Response Services

Intro

Note: Pretty sure this is out of date info, as are many of the listings below …  bulk mailings (4,000 or more) can get discounts under Royal Mail’s Mailsort service if they are pre-sorted – mailing houses may keep quiet about this and keep the discount for themselves! Sometimes it can be worthwhile to set up your own Mailsort account – try 0345 950950 for your nearest Sales Centre.

Membership/Mailing list management

  • Membership Plus are ‘membership marketing communications specialists’. Membership cards, renewals, fulfilment, mailing, consultancy, creative services. Phone 01227 741066, email: info@membership-plus.co.uk
  • Lavenham Press Design and Print, mailing as well as membership management. TLG, Arbons House, Water St, Lavenham, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 9RN, phone 01787 249199.
  • Kingston Smith Have an ‘Association Management’ outsourcing division which does database and membership management. While it appears to be focused on trade associations, the firm also has more general ‘not-for-profit’ expertise, so worth a try. Phone 020 7304 4646, or the trade association contact Michael Trenchard on 01727 832261, email: met@kingsmith.co.uk
  • Electoral Reform Society (under Other services) also do subscription renewals, database management, membership surveys, appeals management, mailing services etc.
  • Dataforce The whole bundle of membership admin and more, in just about any combination. They have handled appeal responses for the likes of Oxfam and WWF including call handling, banking, renewals processing, National Trust magazine mail-outs etc. but are interested in smaller scale too. Phone 01604 673800.

Mainly Mailings and Marketing

There are a large number of ‘Mailing Houses’ who will take a mailing list and process it in various ways. Some with voluntary sector experience include:

  • ITO, a mental health charity. Mailing, response fulfilment, packing and distribution. Lydstep Terrace, Bedminster, Bristol, BS3 1DR, phone 0117 966 8491.
  • Adare has long experience working with charities, such as RSPB. Mailing services, printing etc.

Slightly different but worth noting, is L-Mail, where you can send send letters to any postal address via the Internet.

For email newsletter management and the like, see Internet and Web Services.



Response handling

Coping with response to appeals or the promotion of a special event or membership drive can really strain the resources of many groups. Often part of one of the above services, and is noted where known, but some of the banks will also provide the service (whether postal or phone, possibly even internet), checking cheques or other payment and passing on or processing information received with it. The Co-op Bank is one such.

  • Two-Ten Communications, phone 01937 840210.
  • Tokenhelp.

Other membership services

Elections, ballots. Electoral Reform Services Ballot services for unions and other membership organisations. Free seminars too. 33 Clarendon Road, London, N8 0NW, phone 020 8365 8909, email: lynn.davall@electoralreform.co.uk

Ballot boxes. Try Shaw’s election supplies.

Income Services

This page originally focused on online income services only. A short section on offline income services was started November 2014.

Online Income Processing Options

There are a number of ways of getting money processed as a result of someone making a decision to ‘buy’ from your website (or via seeing a charity ad elsewhere):

  • At time of writing (June 2000), it is common for all types and sizes of organisations to require a form to be printed off and posted, or a phone call, with cheque or credit card payment being processed in ‘standard’ ways.
  • Use a Payment Service Provider (PSP) facility, where your website connects through when someone wants to make a payment. The money goes to their account, and you get paid typically 45 days later. (Information should be collected on your site so you respond before then!). Operate on a set-up fee (sometimes free) plus a percentage per transaction which can be double the offline charge.
  • A ‘secure server‘ within your web set-up which allows taking credit/debit card details online, and you then feed in manually to your normal card processing arrangements.
  • Real online card processing, through a facility like ePDQ (see Barclays), with a live or batch connection to the card issuers/clearers. Usually a monthly fee, lower transaction charge than PSP – try to negotiate same as your offline arrangement.
  • Your own online processing facility, connecting through to the banks system in a similar way to BACS. Only for the largest, and even then probably not yet.

Online Income Tools, Services, Apps

You may want to investigate how these facilities manage or link in to Gift Aid processing. Note that some services are promoted as “free” but check what this means, as the phrase can ignore administration charges or cuts from Gift Aid, for example.

  • Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) can collect donations over the internet in various ways.
  • Charity Checkout online payment processing.
  • Donate is a mobile tool, originally designed to get guests giving at charity events  etc. Run by charity National Funding Scheme.
  • PayPal has a simple Donate button as part of its solutions for charities.
  • Rapidata Services has some online fundraising services as well as direct debit facilities.
  • SnapDonate (new autumn 2014) is an app which connects with JustGiving via scanning a charity logo.
  • Charity Digital (was Tech Trust) has various fundraising related online (and offline) services, including bulk email, card processing.

The open source add-on to the CiviCRM platform, CiviContribute, may be available. While coming from an American base, they are trying hard to internationalise it.

Also see Membership Systems, as increasingly fundraising management processes are integrated into a wider CRM (customer relationship management) function. Also check Online services for Event Management.

Platforms, giving portals

Also see Fundraising Resources page for sample charity websites, ‘shop and give’. Make sure you check what set up costs, commission on Gift Aid claims and/or transaction fees are charged.

  • Charity Choice web directory provides an online donation facility for registered charities.
  • Charity Giving, another online giving site, is operated by the Dove Trust, a charity which has been providing fundraising support since 1983. Lower charges than most.
  • everydayhero “consumer giving” website from fundraising software company Blackbaud also has facilities for charities to build fundraising websites.
  • Givey.com Encourages individuals to share a photo, video or any link that will inspire others and give to charity. Projects and community groups as well as charities.
  • Global Giving “Projects on GlobalGiving.co.uk are screened to ensure they meet a genuine charitable purpose, in areas such as education, health, economic development and the environment.”
  • GoFundMe launched in the UK in 2017. From 2018, 5% donor charge dropped in favour of “voluntary tips”.
  • Golden Giving Only charges card transaction fees, through support by various philanthropic partners.
  • iRaiser Based in Paris (suggested by Shelter Scotland’s digital manager in an article Oct. 2014).
  • JustGiving The most well-known online platform for individual charity fundraising. There is an annual membership charge, unless you sign up for the Basic account. They also have a crowdfunding facility. Possibly also a ‘white label’ version for use within a charity’s own web page.
  • Localgiving aims to enable philanthropic giving to small local charities and community groups in the UK. It is a social enterprise owned by two charities, and every local charity listed is vetted by their local Community Foundation. There is an annual fee.
  • Make a Donation, now part of Golden Giving No commission charges due to support from businesses.
  • Makerble More about tracking impact of projects to show the change donors can make.
  • SmartGiving Fundraising pages and charity accounts (claiming Gift Aid before the account holder allocates the money). A registered charity.
  • The Big Give.
  • Total Giving from Raise your Profile using its Donation Manager software. No fees, apart from PayPal processing.
  • Virgin Money Giving is another individual fundraising platform, set up as a not-for-profit. There is a set up fee.

Community shares, Crowdfunding



General Payment Services

  • Barclaycard Business Services ePDQ is their online payment facility for approved merchants.
  • Paysafe (was NetBanx).
  • PayPal is a little different to the others. Accepts credit card payments very quickly, but there are some restrictions on what you can then do with the money.
  • Planet Payment Phone 0800 027 3636.
  • PayPoint. (previously SECpay).
  • SecureTrading provides ‘real time’ processing of payments by credit and debit card. UK based. Rates for charities (Autumn 04): 1% of each transaction plus £150 per year.
  • WorldPay is quite widely used by UK charities (which are charged 1% on credit cards, no annual fee). Doesn’t meet full accessibility requirements, according to reports. Part of Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

Cards and payment facilities

Various banks provide branded debit/credit cards for charities – we haven’t collated details so far.

Web design, hosting, internet services

Getting the right deal

Many companies do special deals for charities. Unfortunately, there is no standard way of charging or setting up a web facility at present. You need to get a number of companies to quote for the work you want doing. Get them to explain what updating will be done by whom, when, and at what cost, or negotiate this. A clearly out-of-date web site reduces credibility! What time scales are they working to in design, who will be hosting (where your web site data/pages are actually kept) and are they likely to provide a reliable service with enough capacity for the level of interest you hope to generate?

Above all, make sure you get a specification which takes into account your existing IT systems (if any) and every aspect you need to keep it going for at least a year. (For example, could be hidden costs of extra pages above your basic agreement, need for expensive links to ‘upload’ data.)

Use of accessibility criteria and W3 standards is of increasing importance for any organisation.  Open Source software (such as WordPress) is a serious option, reducing basic costs but still usually needing help to implement, tweak design and interface with other systems. Sites like OpenSourceCMS have fairly techie info on the options.

Service Providers

Do it yourself

Web platforms such as WordPress (open source) and Google’s Blogger can enable you to set up your own basic website without specialist input. For best results some techie knowledge still helps.

There are also ‘drag-and-drop’ facilities such as Wix and Weebo, although these have limitatons and may not be fully accessible to all users.

Voice is an “easy-to-use website builder available free of charge to all community, not-for-profit, and voluntary groups in the UK”.

Mainly technical – ISP, hosting, packages

ISP = Internet Service Provider

  • GreenNet provides web services to organisations involved in peace, economic and social justice, human rights, environmental sustainability issues. Broadband, email, web (Drupal) hosting etc. Phone 0845 055 4011 / 020 7065 0935.
  • The Information Works Associated with Co-op Systems, specialising in web databases, web site support and strategy. Unit 4.09 Bondway Business Centre, 71 Bondway, London, SW8 1SQ, phone 020 7793 0677, email: team@infoworks.co.uk
  • The internet business packages from The Phone Coop


Mainly design and development

Also see specialist software developers.

  • Catfish Web Design produces anything from small ‘start-up’ sites to more complex designs with databases, e-commerce and content management systems – conform to W3C web-accessibility guidelines. Can also help with logo design, image branding and internet based marketing. Clients include Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, Brain Research Trust, naz project london. Phone 01223 873349, email: info@catfishwebdesign.com
  • Codeface, a small web solutions agency, has worked with a variety of voluntary organisations. Office 11, Curtis House, 34 Third Avenue,Hove, BN3 2PD.
  • Electric Putty Works predominantly with organisations in the non-profit sector and specialises in creating accessible information based websites using their own content management system.
  • Fat Beehive Done stuff for Action Research, Coin Street. Flexible pricing. Website, consultancy, design, backend, databases, browser testing, hosting, content management systems, e-commerce. 59 Rivington St, London, EC2A 3QQ, phone 020 7739 8704.
  • Frieze Web Design has a policy that “charities pay only what they can afford”. Plenty of experience working with non-profit organisations. Email:
  • GreenNet Design specialise in ‘creating fine web sites for the NGO and non-profit community’. 74-77 White Lion Street, London, N1 9PF, phone 020 7713 1941.
  • Headscape Have worked with Back Care, Butterfly Conservation, CAFOD, Fire Fighters Charity, Aidsmap, National Trust, National Parks, and Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, and strong on usability and accessibility aspects of web design and development.
  • Hugh Barnard Web design and programming (using open source tools), consultancy and teaching at all levels. Voluntary sector references available. Based in Hackney, East London.
  • Jamkit From simple web sites to complex extranets and mailing lists, with a particular emphasis on usability, accessibility and client control. Customers include Moorfields Eye Hospital, Breast Cancer Care, London Housing Foundation. Phone 020 7549 0520, email: info@jamkit.com
  • Jim Byrne Accessible web design, audits and training.
  • Omega Alpha Web design and development, Content management, Technical support, Web hosting, Database driven websites, Internet strategy, Accessibility and compliance services. 16 Percival Street, Accrington, Lancashire, BB5 0BE, phone 01254 301569, email: omega@omega-alpha.com
  • spotts Website Development for the Voluntary Sector by a freelance developer.
  • Suspire Media A number of charity clients. Phone 020 8521 8505, email: info@suspire.co.uk
  • Un.titled (was tincan) Their portfolio shows that they have produced a number of content management system based web sites for major charities and arts organisations.
  • Torchbox RationalMedia content management system, web-based software such as management information systems and reporting applications, online community building, consultancy, training, managed hosting and support services. Charities and public sector are core areas.

Technology Services

Also see Technology: software.

Computer hardware, maintenance and support

  • See Extra: Environmental Impact for information on computer recycling services. Some of these provide cheap computers to community groups and other charities. See Suppliers – Computers for ‘hardware only’ deals.
  • Charity IT Association (CITA) provides charities with a free 2 hour consultation with a strategic IT volunteer “optimised for organisations turning over between £50K and £5M”.  For charities registered with the Charity Commission (England and Wales) or the Scottish Charity Regulator currently (summer 2016).
  • IT4Communities is now part of CITA (summer 2016).
  • A-POJ Ltd A Reading-based ICT consultancy specialising in the charitable and education sectors. Services include network installation and management; database design, development and management; remote access solutions; systems analysis and planning; ICT support and troubleshooting. Phone 0118 901 7078, email: info@apoj.com
  • Avec Solutions redistributes profits to charitable bodies working for the benefit of the community. Bloomfield House, 395-405 Newtownards Road, Belfast, BT4 1RH, phone 028 9045 9000, email: info@avecsolutions.com
  • The Blue Lizard provides IT support, disaster recovery, web design and hosting, plus support for V-Base, WWV, HAL and other specialist applications. Studio G6, building OB, East 10 Enterprise Park, Argall Way, London E10 7DQ, phone 020 3287 0792, email: info@thebluelizard.co.uk
  • Co-operative Systems Specialist provider to voluntary and educational sectors. Installation, maintenance and hotline support for PCs, networks, Microsoft specialists. 20 Miles Street, Vauxhall, London SW8 1SD, phone 020 7793 0395, email: team@coopsys.net
  • Comm-tech provides recycled computers, network support, consultancy etc. mainly for south/central London Groups.
  • Computercraft Supply, install and train on accounts systems and database development. Plus “First Point of Contact is a complete organisational database system.” Also networking, support and advice, and training. 100-106 Leonard Street, London, EC2A 4RH, phone 020 7739 5953, email: enquiry@computercraft.co.uk
  • Elbourn Computer Services IT installation and support to voluntary organisations in Surrey, also recondition PCs donated by businesses, open source advice.
  • ESP Projects is a Social Enterprise providing network installation and maintenance, PC repair and purchasing, web site development, email and internet systems, and a software team to design and construct bespoke VB, Java or ASP applications. Phone 0114 2787229, email: sales@espprojects.co.uk
  • Ethical IT – IT solutions for Charities, Social Enterprises, Voluntary & Campaign Groups, including cloud services. A partnership between JADe and the Ethical Property Company.
  • IT Croydon Information Technology consultancy and a range of computer services, 20-30% discount to voluntary sector organisations. Phone 020 8777 2921, email: info@ITCroydon.co.uk
  • JADe provides generic and specialised IT services to a variety of non-profits, such as Action Aid, Global Witness, Ramblers Association. Have also created a ‘contacts-centric’ database system for charities, C2.
  • Roger Jones/RJ Partners has worked in arts and voluntary sectors as an IT consultant and trainer for 7 years. Includes customising Access databases.
  • Seeds for Change Linux advice/consultancy – free for social and environmental campaigns groups.
  • Senior IT and security specialists, based in Nottingham.
  • Vermont Systems Based in Hampshire, computers, software installation and support, basic accounting packages. 10 per cent discount for charities.

Training and Consultancy

  • Happy Computers Charity discount, usually extended to all voluntary orgs – approx. 40% off. Programme of courses on popular software and systems, also do customised and onsite by arrangement. Online (web based) training available too. Happy Computers is the first training company to achieve the Gold Standard of the Institute of IT Training, meaning that 100% of trainers are accredited. Cityside House, 40 Adler Street, London, E1 1EE, phone 020 7375 7300, email: happy@happy.co.uk
  • 3tc Aiming to make ICT available to all third sector organisations in Merseyside through training and services. A partnership of voluntary, public and private sector companies. Phone 0151 285 4000.
  • Charity IT Association – see above for tech surgeries and consultancy.
  • Computercraft – see above.
  • IT 4 Communities now provides its consultancy as part of CITA.
  • Lasa has an IT Consultancy service. Phone 020 7377 1226, email: ist@lasa.org.uk
  • Other possible sources of training at special rates for charities etc. are local further or higher education colleges.


IT and Fundraising

See also Fundraising Resources page. Membership software has its own page too, as does online income services and tools.

  • IT for Charities An IT consultancy for the sector run by Ivor Wainewright mainly focusing on marketing and fundraising. The website gives info. on software, organisations, CD databases etc.

Consultancy Services

Management, fundraising and other consultants, low-cost options, business links.

Choosing a Consultant

In our opinion, most consultancy work depends on the experience of, and good working relations with, a particular individual consultant, whether they are part of a larger team or not. It is therefore difficult to give recommendations to consultancy firms as a whole. However, those listed here have earned their place in some way!

Management Development Network (see Further Contacts below) has a page on Choosing and briefing a management consultant or trainer.

The Institute of Consulting did have a guide to successful consultancy assignments. You may still find some of its material useful, such as the Professional Code of Conduct.

Sector Specialists

Management consultancy, personnel, interim and project management

plus possibly communications, fundraising, financial, research.

Media support is on the Media services page, IT consultants on Technology Services page, etc.

  • Amber Analysis Consultancy, research, evaluation and capacity building services from Libby Cooper, the founder and former Director of Charities Evaluation Services. Phone 020 7607 1292.
  • BEST management training and consultancy services to voluntary sector organisations primarily within Wales provided by Shirley David. Phone 01646 651655.
  • Blue Spark Consulting. ICT, organisational development, strategy etc.
  • Change Q “Doing everything to help you achieve impact: learning, strategy, fundraising and communications alongside leadership and organisational development.”
  • Charities Evaluation Services is now part of NCVO – see Quality, Monitoring page.
  • Charity Leaders “revolutionising leadership in the voluntary sector”.
  • Compass Partnership, Greenbanks, New Road, Bourne End, Bucks, SL8 5BZ, phone 01628 478561.
  • Connections Partnership. Personnel consultants to the voluntary sector. Gill Taylor, 94 Howard Road, Leicester, LE2 1XH, phone 0116 270 5876.
  • Consultancy.coop “a co-operative of experienced third sector consultants based in Wales”.
  • Dovetail Management Consultancy Practical experience ‘dovetailed’ with business sense for the public and voluntary sector. Advice, consultancy and training on strategy, fundraising, finance, information and communications technology, facilities management. Phone 020 7639 0090 / 0845 456 8208, email: andy.cawdell@dove-tail.co.uk
  • Tracy Elliott. Management Consultant and Trainer, over 14 years experience with the voluntary sector. Experienced facilitator with group work skills, strategic management / business planning expertise, trained mentor / facilitator for Practical Quality Assurance System for Small Organisations (PQASSO). 61 Talbot Street, Canton, Cardiff, CF11 9BX, phone 029 2022 5314.
  • Tamara Essex Experienced voluntary sector trainer, consultant and fundraiser (particularly health and social care), now based in Dorset.
  • Impact Consultancy & Research Social and community based research, project evaluation and support and development services, particularly in a rural context. Specialist knowledge of community engagement and empowerment. Based Shropshire.
  • Indigo Project Solutions is a project management and fundraising consultancy which provides development support to social enterprises, voluntary organisations, councils and the education sector. Lochside House, 3 Lochside Way, Edinburgh EH12 9DT, phone 0131 452 2031.
  • Inspiracion Experienced consultant providing management consultancy services to the voluntary sector including: strategic development, interim management, evaluation, research, training, fundraising. Phone 020 7737 3341, email: director@inspiracion.co.uk
  • Inspire2Aspire Director Sarah Brown. Work with charities to develop visions, Values plans and strategies, plus help implement the change process. Phone 01709 810080.
  • Andrea Kelmanson. Over 40 years of sector experience. 93 Chase Road, London, N14 4LA, phone 020 8886 1595. LinkedIn profile.
  • The Management Centre, Blue Jay Works, 117 Gauden Road, London, SW4 6LE, phone 020 7978 1516
  • Peach Consultancy Infrastructure, capacity building, strategic planning, governance, partnership, fundraising, social enterprise and research consultants; ISO 9001 and NCVO approved. 33 Arragon Gardens, London, SW16 5LY, phone 020 8679 2810, email: marcusw@peachconsultancy.com
  • Practical Wisdom R2Z, formed in 2010 by researchers and consultants Colin Rochester, Bill Rushbrooke and Meta Zimmeck, specialising in the voluntary and community sector and volunteering.
  • The Projects Company, Willow Lodge, Church Road, High Beach, Loughton, Essex, IG10 4AJ, phone 020 8502 2327, email: info@theprojectsco.co.uk
  • Prospect Consultancy (Aliona Laker) Management and fundraising consultants.
  • Katie Rowan. Trustee Support and Training Packages; Developing successful supported volunteering projects. 2 Rheidol Terrace, London, N1 8NT.
  • Social Value Lab (was Think) “a national hub for social sector research and action”.
  • Ask Sue Tuffin Consultancy, evaluation and training services in facilitation, organisational review and development, trustee recruitment, monitoring and evaluation, research, information materials and personal career planning. 21 Jackson Avenue, Leeds, LS8 1NP, phone 0113 2931357, email: sue@suetuffin.co.uk

Consultancy around specific issues, functions

  • Populo HR in Hampshire run by Dr Sonia Wilson.

Further Contacts

The Management Development Network is an organisation of/for independent management trainers and consultants in the sector. The directory of members is on the web site. The directory can also be obtained for £15 (incl. p&p and 2 updates) from 39 Gabriel House, Odessa Street, London, SE16 0HQ, phone 020 7232 0726.

Online Register of Arts Consultants is a database managed on behalf of Arts Council England and Arts Council of Scotland.

EUConsult is the ‘European Association of Consultants to and about the Not-for-Profit Sector’ and lists UK (and other) members on its website.

NCVO has a list of recommended consultants – see Support Bodies.

Free, pro bono or low-cost consultancy

Also see: Sources of professionals for management committees/trusteeship on the Trustee and Member Resources page, Technology Services for volunteer IT consultants. Plus our page of websites listing professional (employee) volunteering opportunities. If your issue involves a legal matter, check Legal Services.

Business Links

There are various employee volunteering initiatives around – try your local sector support organisation (CVS) – which could help you find free (or low cost) professional help.

Pilotlight “helps small charities and social enterprises to grow by matching them with business people who help the charities for three hours a month, for up to two years. Pilotlight manages the relationship between the charities and business people, guiding them through a tried and tested model to develop a strategic plan.” Free to charities. Phone 020 7396 7414, email: info@pilotlight.org.uk



Fundraising and Marketing Consultants

We have had some requests to give contacts here. There are many around, and we do not have any particular knowledge on the best or worst.

Also try: Association of Fundraising Consultants PO Box 9, Woodstock, OX20 1ZJ, phone 01582 762446, email: enquiries@afc.org.uk