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How the Charity Excellence Framework is supporting local Barnet charities

Strengthening Operations with the Charity Excellence Framework: A Case Study of Young Barnet Foundation

Operating a small charity can be both rewarding and challenging. With limited resources and an unwavering commitment to make a positive impact, it's crucial for organisations like Young Barnet Foundation (YBF) to optimise their operations and maximise their effectiveness. In this blog post, we will explore how the Charity Excellence Framework (CEF) can serve as a valuable tool for strengthening our operations, enabling us to better support and empower our members.

What is the Charity Excellence Framework?

CEF is a FREE online resource designed to support voluntary sector organisations of all sizes and sectors in improving their efficiency and effectiveness (you don’t have to be a charity; this tool is useful for organisations with other governance set ups too).

CEF offers a comprehensive set of tools, templates and resources that cover a wide range of organisational areas, including governance, strategy, fundraising, impact measurement and more. The framework encourages a holistic approach to organisation management, focusing on collaboration, innovation, and continuous improvement. Once you’ve signed up for an account, you work your way through a set of statements, rating your current performance in these areas. It will take you approximately 4-8 hours to work through the whole process thoroughly. It doesn’t need to be done in one go, you can prioritise areas for completion, and you can save your progress.

Strengthening Governance and Strategy

One of the core elements of CEF is its focus on governance and strategy. For YBF, this means ensuring robust leadership, clear direction, and effective decision-making processes. By utilising the CEF resources, we have been able to assess and strengthen our Board structure, review and update our Communications Strategy, and establish mechanisms for monitoring progress and adapting to changing circumstances.

Streamlining Operations and Efficiency

Voluntary sector organisations often face resource constraints, making it essential to optimise their operations and streamline processes wherever possible. CEF provides valuable tools to support this effort. By implementing the framework's guidance, YBF has reviewed and updated its recruitment processes, ensuring that we can enhance efficiency, minimise duplication and allocate resources effectively. Also making this a better process for job applicants.

Launching new policies

Another outcome that working through CEF has allowed us to achieve, is the launch of new Environmental and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policies. CEF guidance allowed us to assess the effectiveness of our current practices and from this we identified areas for improvement. We now have an ongoing list of actions that we can work through over the coming months.

Supporting our members

CEF emphasises the power of collaboration and we want to encourage our members to connect with one another to maximise their collective impact. YBF can support members to access CEF’s resources by providing 1-2-1 or group training. By sharing our experience of CEF with members, we hope to enhance members’ knowledge, expand their reach and create a more cohesive and impactful voluntary youth sector in Barnet.


CEF provides a comprehensive toolkit that empowers small charities to strengthen their operations, increase their impact and achieve their organisational goals. Implementing CEF is a proactive step towards organisational growth and sustainability, it has and will enable YBF to continue making a positive and lasting difference to our organisation.


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