Charity and Advisory Team (CHAT)

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At The Clare Foundation we are pleased to be able to offer a specialist team of advisors who are here to help and provide support across a number of areas including, governance, strategy, leadership, legal, marketing, HR, finance and much more. We call this our CHAT programme. Our CHAT volunteers are from all walks of life. We have retirees and people who are still working, individuals who have led businesses, charities and public sector organisations and entrepreneurs with their own businesses. What links them is that they are all able to draw on their own experience, knowledge and skills to give sound, practical advice.

Martin Gallagher, CEO, The Clare Foundation – gives more information about the CHAT programme

Our CHAT programme was established in 2010 by Mike Elliott who was The Clare Foundation’s founding CEO. Mike left the charity in 2013 and for a while the programme was inactive. When I came into post in 2015, I spoke to Mike, who was then a Trustee, about how to re-establish a programme of support for charity CEOs and leaders across Buckinghamshire.

Over the years we have assisted hundreds of charities, with high quality pro-bono support. In 2022 we provided circa 44 charities with personalised support in over 260 areas of engagement. We are delighted to welcome four new CHAT volunteers to our team. With our current cohort of advisors, we have the capacity to take on more work and provide even greater bespoke support.

For further information or any type of charity assistance, please do not hesitate to get in contact: email Martin Gallagher, CEO, at or call 07730 762900. If we are not able to support you, we will do our best to find someone who can.

What is the purpose of the CHAT programme?

  • To link charities with pro-bono advisors who are happy to volunteer their time
  • To help charities make meaningful links with experts that help build cooperation and a better Buckinghamshire society
  • To help charities to acquire the knowledge needed to enable them to be more effective, efficient and sustainable
Image of two figures reaching out to each other on a mountain. Silhouettes against a blue/yellow background.

How does the CHAT programme work?

  • Following a charity need for support a verified advisor is matched
  • The advisor is provided with all the information needed to prepare for your introductory call
  • You and your advisor agree the support to be provided
  • Your advisor will provide up to 4 hours of pro-bono support a month
  • You will also receive invitations to our networking events and seminars. If you do not want to be on our mailing list, please let us know
  • If you would like to continue receiving support after the pro bono time agreed, you can continue working with the advisor, at an agreed rate, outside of The Clare Foundation

What do people think of our CHAT programme?

Lawrence Patrick, Founder, Mehiel Foundation

Although a registered charity, for the past 12 years, I have run Mehiel Foundation like a philanthropic venture, with the vast majority of funding being contributed by myself directly. 

Since reaching out to The Clare Foundation last year, the entire dynamic has changed. Thanks to Robin, Martin and Helen, the people they introduced me to and the support they’ve offered me, 2022 was the first year when more than 25% of our income came from external sources. 

We even managed to receive two grants for our Sacks of Hope initiative which helped deliver sacks of groceries to 149 underprivileged families in Bucks and surrounding areas last Christmas.

My most recent meeting with Robin and Martin helped me clearly define Mehiel Foundation’s strategy and vision and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for our partnership. 

I can honestly say, that reaching out to The Clare Foundation was by far the best strategic decision I’ve made on behalf of Mehiel Foundation.

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