Support for organisations

Help & Advice introduction

We all need some help at times, no matter what size your organisation or group there's lots of advice available here.

Picture of a hand writing in a notebook

The help and advice is aimed as a helping hand for anyone running a charity or voluntary group, whether you're a volunteer, a trustee or committee member, or a paid member of staff. The themes cover a wide range of topics from setting up and managing third sector groups of all kinds to managing people, money and much more!

Browse the help and advice themes or look for help based on the income level of your organisation. 

Disclaimer: The information provided is intended for guidance only. It is not a substitute for professional advice and no responsibility is accepted for any action taken as a result of the help and advice provided.

Starting a New Group

If you are thinking about starting a new group you may be assured that there is plenty of support available to help you.

acrons in tree

This section and the help and advice topics highlight lots of the main points you will need to consider if setting up a new group and beyond.


Managing money effectively is an essential part of running any organisation.

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It is important that sound financial systems, procedures and policies underpin the work of all third sector organisations – even more so as resources are stretched.

Help and advice is available to support your organisation with its financial health.

Current Funding Opportunities

A selection of the latest funding opportunities for third sector organisations in Leeds.

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Explore the links below to find out more, where applicable deadline dates are shown.


Information about funding for third sector organisations and links to further sources of support.

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We want charities and voluntary and community organisations to be the very best that they can be.

Governance academy logo

Governance is about running your organisation.

For updates on charity law go to the following on a regular basis:

  • @kathyfaulks especially for Charity Commission updates.

  • Relevant blogs to be found on the pages of the academy.

We plan to provide four charity law seminars a year to be delivered by a charity law solicitor. These will be advertised in the training section on Each seminar will provide a summary of charity law updates, a themed workshop and a question and answer session. These seminars are for registered charities based in Leeds only and will be fantastic value. 

If you are looking for training on governance issues please go to the training section on

Please take the opportunity to explore the different pages of the academy. We think we may surprise you!

Governance support to organisations with an annual income below £100,000 is provided through the Leeds City Council Infrastructure Support Fund and is free at the point of delivery. Email our Governance_Worker if your organisation has an income below £100,000 and your organisations needs advice, support or information.

Governance support to registered charities with an annual income above £100,000 is available through the Business Support Programme. Please go to the Find a provider page.

Marketing and Communications

Your organisation won’t go far if you don’t have an audience and once you’ve got one you need to think about how you’re going to keep them.

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At its most basic marketing is about understanding what your offer is and who it is for - then communicating this to your audience. Marketing can help to demonstrate your impact, which could in turn could help to attract funding or more customers and also increase your organisation’s credibility.

To be effective marketing needs good communications which requires: a clear understanding of objectives, careful planning, coordination of the right communications tools, development of the right messages, a strategic and tactical approach and measurement of results.

Monitoring and Evaluation

All organisations should review their activities to ensure they are performing efficiently.

people looking at a computer

 Monitoring and evaluating your activities will help you answer these questions.

  • How well is your organisation performing? 
  • Can we trust your organisation to deliver quality services?
  • Do we want to be associated with your organisation?
  • How do we know?

People and Employment

People make a difference. To deliver services well you need to have people who are committed to the aims of your organisation, have the right skills and are managed effectively.

Group of people at a networking event

This section provides lots of information, advice and support to help your organisation ensure it staff make a difference.


Good planning can help organisations in lots of ways.

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Planning can help you: 

  • Work out what you want to do (your goals)
  • Work out if you can achieve what you want
  • Think about how you are going to achieve what you want – prioritising
  • Work out any extra support you might need
  • Think about what you might do if some things don't work out
  • Think about the changes you want to make in the future
  • Plan to make changes successfully

Failing to plan is planning to fail...

Commissioning and Contracting

Commissioning is the process of deciding what public services are needed and how best to use the resources available to get the best for local people.


Over the years Councils, and other purchasers of goods and services like the NHS, have increasingly moved from awarding grants to fund organisations to deliver services, to more formal processes involving procurement and contracts.

Commissioning processes as a whole, and especially procurement, have become increasingly highly structured as a result of legislation and  regulation. Commissioners need to be clear about what exactly is being purchased and delivered, and what the benefits and impacts are, as well as exploring whether better value for money can be achieved or new ways of achieving better outcomes can be found.

There is plenty of opportunity for the third sector to access commissioning and contracting opportunities and support is available.

Follow @sltcleeds to keep up to date with key commissioning developments and opportunities in Leeds.

Engage with ESIF!

Supporting the Third Sector to engage with the Leeds City Region (LCR) European Structural Investment Funds (ESIF) programme.

Engage with ESIF! logo



The European Structural Investment Funds (ESIF) programme 2014-2020 has now gone live and the first funding opportunities have been launched. The programme locally is being delivered through Leeds City Region (LCR) Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Engage with ESIF!

The Engage with ESIF! project was funded by the Big Lottery Fund to support the sector to engage with the LCR ESIF programme; it ran until September 2015 and offered a series of awareness-raising, engagement and development workshops and other activities across the city region, together with information and communications through this website. As part of its work the project has helped to put organisations in touch with each other through the Partner Finder page in order to help them develop bids for funding.

Engage with ESIF! was delivered by Voluntary Action Leeds (VAL), in conjunction with its CVS or equivalent partner in each of the districts covered by the LCR ESIF programme. Within VAL the project was led by Supporting Links to Commissioning (SLtC). To contact VAL directly about Engage with ESIF! or the ESIF programme generally please e-mail

BIG's funding for Engage with ESIF! has now finished but VAL will continue to maintain and update these pages as a resource for the sector. In addition VAL, along with two of the Engage with ESIF! partners, NOVA and Your Consortium, will in future provide support for the sector as partners in the L-CREATE Technical Assistance project led by West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

More information can be found on the pages below; these are also listed in the box headed Themes, which appears to the right on most of the Engage with ESIF! pages. 

Join the mailing list to receive regular updates on the ESIF programme in LCR, or follow @sltcleeds on Twitter to receive notifications when these appear.

Register on our Partner Finder page if you are interested in being involved in the delivery of the ESIF programme in LCR as a lead bidder or delivery partner.


This page updated 1/10/15