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Rob Foster


Head of Learning Technologies

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Offering In-house Courses to Charities?


It's been suggested that we offer spare spaces on our in-house training offering to employees/volunteers of local charities.  On the face of it, it seems to be a good suggestion - but the more I think of it, the less attractive it becomes (confidentiality, additional training logisitics, who pays for what etc etc).  Has anyone done this, looked into it before - I'd appreciate your experiences of anything similar.

4 Responses

  1. some thoughts

    Hi Rob

    Part of the issue relates to notice….if you can give a few days notice to the charities then most issues should be surmountable.

    I'd suggest drawing up a simple 1 page set of T&Cs that set out any administrative costs, confidentiality, attendance expectations, H&S etc.  Then, if you can find a couple of local charities that you are happy to support (you could ask your staff) you could get an "in principle" agreement of these terms in advance.

    Inevitably there may be some content that will be of little relevance to your charity "customers", eg I've just run a marketing course for managers, some of the content and exercises are not appropriate outside the industry, but the rest is of great value….you could excuse the charoty people or if there is more than one set them a similar relevant exercise.

    IF you do go ahead with this there are benefits that go beyond saving the cost of the bum not on a seat; goodwill, PR, and the chance for the charity to rub shoulders with people who may become volunteers.

    I'd suggest that you go for it….if it doesn't work then withdraw it but at least give it a try!

    Rus Slater


  2. Thanks Rus – some great tips

    Thanks Rus – some great tips there, especially around the T&Cs.  I have already been approached by a local charity, via a member of staff, so the need is already there which is great.  There remains some commercial thinking that I need some input on from others who may have done something similar.

    I can see a benefit in terms of running more events when numbers would have become dangerously low that we otherwise would have cancelled the course.  I can also see some great PR and internal engagement activity from this too.

    We use a number of external training companies to run our courses, and so charge out to our internal attendees a per-head cost for attendance. 

    I would struggle to justify to the the internal attendees why I would be charging more per head to them because a free (or heavily discounted) space has been offered to a charity.  It's a hard sell when training budgets are tight. 

    My heart says the idea is a good thing to do, but the business logic is not totally stacking up.  Any more experience and insight from you wonderful people would be great. 

  3. Business logic seldom stacks up where donations are concerned!

    If you have a course for eight people, at a cost of £800, that is £100 per head from the budget of the attendees.  Do you charge them £200 a head if there are only 4 on the course?

    ~~If you do, but you add a person from the charity, then it isn't costing them more for the charity person……but it is allowing the training to go ahead when iot might otherwise be cancelled or postponed.

    ~~If you don't, but the business absorbs the £400 difference, then it is the business's choice and gift to offer a free place.


  4. It’s the first option Rus. 

    It's the first option Rus.  Course costs £800 – minimum delegates is 4.  The theoretical max. cost of the course internally is £200 per head. 

    We get three internal, and one attending from a local charity.   This would mean £267 per head – maybe not a killer difference in price, but enough to set budget alarm bells ringing for some.

    Perhaps its a case of suck-it-and-see as you suggested earlier.

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Rob Foster

Head of Learning Technologies

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