Community Ventures and other sector support

The Community Foundation doesn’t just support voluntary organisations in the region through grants, we also run or support a range of programmes to help organisations be as effective, responsive and resilient as possible.

With the support of the Garfield Weston and Esmée Fairbairn Foundations, we are also brokering and building additional non-financial support for the sector, particularly around governance, business planning and income generation. A brief outline of the current programmes and opportunities are highlighted below. If you want further information or to suggest areas we can collaborate on please contact Adam Lopardo :


Community Ventures

Community Ventures is a Community Foundation project that provides in-depth support to voluntary organisations in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, helping them to be as effective, responsive and resilient as possible. Our Community Ventures experts work, pro bono, with organisations over a sustained period of time, usually up to a year, to help them identify challenges and opportunities, embed new practices, and think afresh about their role and relationship with beneficiaries. To find out more click here.


North East Skills Sharing Group

The North East Skills Sharing Group, established in 2015, brings together key not-for-profit organisations that encourage cross-sector skills sharing primarily between the private and voluntary sectors in Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, Durham and Tees Valley. The group’s aim is to promote and demystify the skills-sharing infrastructure giving business people and voluntary organisations a pathway through the maze to offer or benefit from expert skills.

Convened and chaired by the Community Foundation the group includes representatives from Business in the Community, Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, County Durham Community Foundation, Cranfield Trust, Office for Civil Society, Pilotlight, Sector Connector (North Tyneside Voda), SkillsBridge, VONNE, There is a dedicated website here.



TrusteeMatch is a Community Foundation project that matches people looking for trustee positions with organisations looking for trustees. Individuals on our TrusteeMatch list tend to be from business backgrounds keen to share their expertise and develop their own learning and experience further. Expertise currently includes legal, finance, funding, marketing and property with individuals interested in a range of issues including arts, environment, young people, older people and employment.

If you are interested in joining a board or looking for board members please contact Adam Lopardo on 0191 222 0945. Alternatively you can fill in the form to register your interest in becoming a trustee here or register your need for a new trustee or multiple trustees here.

Building Future Sustainability 

The Building Future Sustainability programme was created by the Community Foundation and Mark Butcher Associates. The aim is to create a low cost, high quality programme to support greater sustainability for ‘mid-range’ charities and community groups across the North East. The programme is designed to provide an introduction to a range of income generating activities and help organisations prepare to engage in them. As well as our trainers, attendees will hear from peer professionals who have succeeded in each area. You can find out more at the dedicated website here.


Building Better Governance

With partners in the region we have brought CASS Business School’s Building Better Governance programme to the region running courses in Tees Valley and Newcastle. It will run again in Autumn 2017. Please sign up to our newsletter for an announcement.


North East Together –  Leaders Network for Social Change

The North East Together Initiative is run out of the Newcastle University’s  Centre for Knowledge, Innovation, Technology and Enterprise with support from the Community Foundation. The aim of the network is to facilitate inspiration, collaboration and mutual support among leaders of social change. The network hosts a quarterly series of events where leaders can hear from inspirational speakers who provide new insight into social change, and meet one another, and begin to collaborate. Areas that members have chosen to collaborate on so far include funding, coaching, leadership and governance but anyone can suggest a new area and see if other members want to join with them to tackle it. You can sign up and find out more here.


Ethical Property Foundation

Many voluntary organisations own or manage property and with the growing number of asset transfers this number is set to increase. We are working with the Ethical Property Foundation to bring their expert workshops to the region but also to publicise their property advice service. You can find out about their 2017-19 National Programme for Property Education here