Charity Excellence Programme

Charity Excellence Programme

“I found it incredibly helpful, lots to reflect on and I now feel much more informed to make decisions on the path of The Kindness Wave.

Angela Stattersfield, Aylesbury Kindness Wave

The Charity Excellence Programme aims to support Buckinghamshire impacting not-for-profit organisations by providing tailored guidance and support to help them overcome some of the greatest challenges they are currently facing. 

Ian McLintock of Charity Excellence Framework sponsored by The Clare Foundation will provide organisations with expert guidance in the below ways. This is a pro bono service.

Dependent upon the size / complexity of your organisation, you may be able to take advantage of all of these guidance options, a combination or just one.

If you would like support in a way not indicated below, email and tell us about your need. If Ian can support you, then we will ask you to complete the below Expression of Interest form.

Ian McLintock, the founder of Charity Excellence Framework, is an experienced CEO and chair, with particular expertise in leadership, strategy, managing change, business planning, finance, income generation, HR and governance. He has an MSc in Corporate Management and professional qualifications in finance and fundraising. He is an experienced facilitator and leadership coach. He is results focussed but succeeds through helping people to find their own solutions. 

Guidance Options

Governance and Management


  • Do you have the right people and skills?
  • Does the Board work effectively?
  • Do they have the procedures and information needed to do that?


  • Have you assessed the external risks and opportunities?
  • Have you made an honest assessment of your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Have you brought these together to create a strategy that is realistic, within acceptable levels of risk, fundable and is being implemented?


  • Do you understand what the unmet need is; how you might work with others in response to that?
  • Have you structured the services and mix of delivery to maximise impact in responding?
  • How do you know what you’ve done meets the needs and wishes of your beneficiaries?

Fundraising Strategy

Have you assessed:

  • The wider risks and opportunities, including balancing strategic and operational risks (diversification)
  • The fundraising techniques that might be applied and their potential donors, how these fit with your capacity and capabilities and do you have a realistic plan to deliver these.

Managing Resources

  • Are you thinking strategically, not just near term?
  • Do you have the mechanisms and oversight to ensure resources are managed effectively?
  • Have you systematically reviewed the opportunities available and how do you ensure that this is about people and culture, not just paperwork
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What can you expect from us

  1. TCF will pay for up to 8 hours of our advisor’s time.
  2. We will provide:
  • 3 hours of guidance 
  • A co-authored Action Plan
  • A review of the Action Plan along with your organisation within 1 month of action plan creation

What do we expect from you

  1. To meet the criteria detailed below.
  2. To provide accurate information at each stage of the process from the expression of interest form, review half-day, action plan and action plan review call. 
  3. To promptly provide any additional resources requested.
  4. To proactively engage with the programme and carry out all agreed action points
  5. To inform The Clare Foundation of the outcome of the action plan implementation 3 months after the initial review day.
  6. To include The Clare Foundation in any publicity surrounding results of engagement with the programme. 

Criteria for programme engagement

  • A not-for-profit organisation ideally a charity.
  • Maximum annual income of £1m.
  • Not a government, religious, educational or political organisation or a social enterprise. 
  • The organisation must have Buckinghamshire based beneficiaries.
  • An operating track record of at least two years. 
  • Maximum of 12 months reserves 

If you do not meet all of the above criteria, please email to have a chat about whether you can still engage with the programe.

If you become a successful participant of the programme, you will need to be able to provide a variety of documentation as relates to the specific area of support you will receive.


Step 1 – Complete the Expression of Interest Form

This should highlight why you believe engaging with the Charity Excellence Programme could benefit your organisation.
It should also clearly indicate your organisations willingness to take on board advice proactively and who will be responsible for this.

Step 2 – Review Half-day

Ian spends about 3 hours reviewing one or all of the focus topics dependent upon the size and complexity of your charity.

Step 3 – Action Plan (within 2 weeks of review)

Together with Ian you complete a simple action plan which will provide links to resources and toolkits.

Step 4 – Progress catch up (1 month after action plan agreed)

Ian will call for a one-hour progress catch up to help support you through any challenges you may be facing re action plan implementation.

Step 5 – Updated action plan (within one week of Step 4)

An updated action plan is submitted to Ian / The Clare Foundation post progress catch up.

Step 6 – Impact reporting (3 months after review day)

You provide The Clare Foundation with feedback on the impact the development and implementation plan has had on areas of your organisation targeted.

Please download, complete the Expression of Interest Form and email it to

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