Navigating the New Normal

A blueprint for how the sector can recover from Covid-19

Leading a charity or social enterprise is challenging at the best of times. Now, the Covid-19 crisis has put huge strain on charities and social enterprises across many areas – funding, financial planning, service delivery and working collaboratively as a team. Leaders are more isolated than usual, at a time when collaboration and support is needed more than ever.

Navigating the New Normal will see us guide an action-learning style course of 10 organisations. Over five sessions, you’ll help one another and develop a blueprint for how the sector can recover from Covid-19.

Taking place online, the course will:

  • Help you develop a recovery plan for your organisation to respond to the challenges emerging from Covid-19
  • Enable you to identify new opportunities to do things differently, better and more cost-effectively in your organisation
  • Support you to work more effectively with your colleagues and Board
  • Provide you with tailored tools and templates to support your recovery from Covid-19 (e.g. for risk management, budgeting, strategic planning)
  • Build a new peer support network of like-minded sector leaders to discuss issues, share frustrations and test new ideas and approaches

We ran a live Q+A session with course facilitators Mike Zywina and Francesca Ferris-Ockwell, where they gave insights into current challenges and answered your questions about how the course could help tackle them.

Who this course is for

We’re aiming for a diverse cohort in terms of people’s backgrounds, roles, and the organisations they represent. We’re looking for people who want to give a lot of thought to mapping out the future landscape and how to position their organisations – people who are prepared to invest time in the process, and share ideas and challenges openly.

In return, we’ll help you come up with an extensive list of challenges and opportunities, devise ways to respond, test new ideas and learn from each organisation’s experiences.

Key themes we’ll cover

We’ll guide you through the process of anticipating developments in the sector, developing and testing new ideas, sharing perspectives with each other, and shaping the agenda for each session. Topics we’ll cover will include:

Future funding models

  • Grant funding – will the recent emergency funding have a long-term impact on grant levels? Will funders stick with simpler application and reporting processes, and fewer restrictions on how funding is spent?
  • How will a recession impact corporate fundraising, major gifts and legacies?
  • Will the surge in public donations and crowdfunding during the pandemic continue, and how can you tap into it

Financial & strategic planning

What has Covid-19 taught us about:

  • What constitutes a prudent reserves policy?
  • How to identify and assess future risks?
  • What an effective contingency plan should look like?
  • How managements teams and Boards should work together to respond to a crisis?

Service delivery

  • Is online service delivery an opportunity to do continue doing things more cost-effectively and reach more people? Does it present new challenges in terms of accessibility, safeguarding, and sustained long-term impact?
  • Will the recent rise in community volunteering enable you to keep doing more with less, or present tough challenges in terms of coordination and volunteer management capacity?
  • Who is now responsible for ‘doing good’ in your community, and how can they work together to deliver services and shape policy?

Collaboration & working culture

  • Should remote working continue, and you still need an office? What does this mean for running costs, business continuity, staff engagement, tech requirements, ability to attract talent, data security and safeguarding?
  • How can you best support staff and volunteers experiencing disengagement, overwhelm and anxiety around the health and financial impact of Covid-19?

Course dates

Navigating the New Normal takes place over five sessions between September 2020 and March 2021:

  • Tuesday 18th February 2021
  • Thursday 25th March
  • Thursday 22nd April
  • Thursday 17th June
  • Thursday 15th July

Sessions take place in the morning, and are split into two parts: 9.00am – 10:30am and 11:00am – 12.30pm.

Each session will be delivered online.

About the facilitators

Mike Zywina is an experienced fundraising consultant and Director of Lime Green Consulting. Mike Zywina is an experienced fundraising consultant and Director of Lime Green Consulting. Lime Green Consulting help ambitious charities and social enterprises to be more strategic, become more sustainable or access new funding – they provide a mix of strategic consultancy, hands-on fundraising support, training and mentoring. Mike was previously Fundraising Manager and a member of the Senior Management Team at Link Community Development, overseeing a thriving fundraising portfolio raising £600,000 per year.

“Mike has a relaxed, friendly and approachable facilitating style. The strategy we produced was clear and understandable, providing reassurance and focus at a time of uncertainty”

Fran Ferris-Ockwell has worked in social welfare organisations for nearly 20 years, most recently as CEO of a Sheffield housing charity.  She’s raised in excess of £1million in grant funding and contract income, and designed trading models that have generated over £700,000. She’s also overseen major strategic and governance reviews, so understands the challenges involved in aligning the visions of beneficiaries, staff, trustees and others, then actually implementing a strategy.


The cost to take part in ‘Navigating the New Normal’ is £850 per participant.

Book now

Book your place immediately with a credit or debit card via our website using Stripe, our payment processor. We’ll send you booking confirmation right away.

Please only request an invoice if absolutely necessary and if it is for an amount over £100.

Please note our terms and conditions: we can offer a full refund provided you give us at least 7 days’ notice (within 7 days you can substitute the participant for someone else). 

Book now