Thanet Volunteer Bureau Organisational Strengths Review - Steve Allman

I was thrilled to have another opportunity to work with Thanet Volunteer Bureau when the charity commissioned me to undertake an Organisational Strengths Review. I’d previously researched and written an external evaluation of the charity’s Big Lottery Fund project, Thanet Community Support Partnership, which was awarded an additional grant soon after we completed the evaluation.

This time, trustees of Thanet Volunteer Bureau, which is based in Ramsgate, were looking to gain an external view of the charity’s strengths and areas for improvement to inform their future strategy and understand the charity’s impact, capacity and capability.

Thanet Volunteer Bureau provides a wide range of services, including Thanet Community Support Partnership which helps older people overcome isolation, a transport service, a volunteer directory and a number of other projects and initiatives. Volunteers and volunteering are at the heart of everything and the charity plays an important role in developing good practice and enabling other local organisations to use volunteers effectively and promote volunteering opportunities.

The Organisational Strengths Review explored a number of themes, including strategy, finance and impact, with a view to assisting trustees in determining the charity’s strengths and areas for improvement, in addition to potential risks and challenges. I’ve delivered similar reviews for other Volunteer Centres and have developed a bespoke approach which captures the views of internal stakeholders, including staff, trustees and volunteers, in addition to external stakeholders, including member organisations, funders and referring bodies.

These views, in addition to our own analysis of the charity’s strategy, financial position, impact data and other factors, are presented in a final report, which includes detailed recommendations and next steps, in addition to the charity’s current good practice and potential opportunities for sustaining services, responding to local needs or working in partnership with other local groups. The charity is highy regarded in the local area and has developed a number of strategic partnerships with other organisations which we hope will enable it to build on current levels of impact and ensure that volunteering remains at the heart of the local community.

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