Understanding your area
Invest time in understanding your area's Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA), Local Area Agreement (LAA) and, if you are working with children or young people, Children's Plan and the priorities of your Children's Trust. These may be published on your local authority website, or you can request them from the policy department.
It is also important to look at the National Indicators (NIs) that your area has selected. These can be found through the Local Priorities website.
Third sector support organisations
These operate on a national level and a local level where they may be referred to the Council for Voluntary Services (CVS) or Local Infrastructure Organisations (LIOs). You will be eligible to receive this support if you are an independent not-for-profit or charitable, values driven organisation. If not, you may still be able to access some free or low cost resources.
The National Council for Voluntary Organisations
The NCVO is a lobbying organisation that represents the views of its members and the wider voluntary sector to the Government, European Union and other bodies. They are also at the leading edge of research into and analysis of the voluntary sector. They offer information, advice and training.
The Sustainable Funding Project's Public Service Delivery Network
The PSD Network has a huge range of resources available to voluntary sector organisations and commissioners. It is free to join and can keep you updated with developments in the sector. They also offer training events, seminars and conferences.
National Association for Voluntary and Community Action
The NAVCA is the national voice of local infrastructure organisations in England. They have created a map where you can locate organisations who can support you around commissioning, and details of where to find tenders. They have also produced useful free publications including a guide to procurement.
bassac's Collaboration Benefits programme, funded by Capacitybuilders, offers a dedicated advice and support service for organisations who wish to develop effective partnerships. Support is tailored to what a group needs and is provided by highly experienced independent facilitators. In return they expect a high level of commitment. For more advice contact Keith Kibirango by email or on 020 7336 9429.