Cost-of-Living Emergency: Support for VCSEs Workshop Series

Throughout March & April Voluntary Norfolk are running a series of events to help voluntary sector colleagues explore some of the complex issues facing VCSEs during the ongoing cost-of-living emergency.

The Empowering Communities Partnership recognises that, while there have been many events and resources aimed at helping VCSEs support their clients, there are simultaneously multiple factors impacting the sector itself, such as depreciating grant funding; challenges with staff recruitment & retention; and conveying key messages to donors.

Through these workshops our partners hope to give you some ideas of new approaches you could take to tackle these issues, with speakers from organisations around the UK sharing their expertise. There will also be plenty of time in each session to raise and discuss your most pressing challenges, along with ways your organisation might be able to adapt to meet them.


Workshops on the cost-of-living emergency

Workshops include “Navigating Funding During a Cost of Living Crisis”, a conversation with Heidi from the National Lottery Community Fund in which she’ll discuss how to calculate extra costs and how to approach funders to discuss uplifts to grants. “Getting Your Voice Heard in a Cost of Living Crisis” is led by Adam from local social enterprise Brix Brand. They work with VCSEs to help them communicate effectively with potential donors, funders, beneficiaries or volunteers. Adam will discuss:

  • how to get your messages out to the right people;
  • using storytelling techniques;
  • and the key pillars of an organisation that gets the attention it deserves.

This session is something of a follow-on from the excellent session with David Powles earlier this year. It would be useful for any organisation looking to promote their offer, as would the session earlier in the month on 14th March on design.

Another session will cover “Tips & Tricks for Stretching your VCSE’s Budget”. This will be a kind of virtual marketplace of offers for voluntary organisations! We’ll then host an exciting non-profit project, RadHR, for a workshop on Alternative Approaches to HR. In this session we’ll look at the problems with standard HR and how you might adapt HR policies to fit with your organisation’s values, leading to greater staff wellbeing and retention.

Finally, in April we’ll be joined by Naomi from New Philanthropy Capital (NPC), a leading consultancy for charities. They’ll tell us about their latest research on the impact of cost of living rises on the voluntary sector. Naomi will also present NPC’s data on Norfolk’s specific challenges. We’ll discuss this in light of your own experiences and reflections on this challenging period.


Further information and next steps

We hope these sessions will help to foster new ways of working, spark some ideas. They should also give you some tips and tricks for these challenging times. Please bring along your questions, thoughts, challenges and reflections to share with the workshop group.

Visit our Eventbrite series page for links to all events: Please note that not all events are currently listed on Eventbrite, please check the series page for updates. You are welcome to attend any or all of the sessions.

For a full list of all the events that the Empowering Communities Partnership is running, please click here.

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