Charity leaders offered bursaries to support other charities

Twelve people will be selected to join teams of cross-sector leaders who will coach other charities in areas including finance and governance

Charity leaders are being invited to apply for bursaries to work alongside other senior professionals from the private and public sectors on a scheme that provides strategic support to voluntary organisations.

Pilotlight, a charity that connects business leaders with third sector organisations, began accepting applications yesterday.

Chief executives of UK-registered charities or leaders of major divisions within larger charities have until 7 April to apply.

Each of the 12 people selected will join a team of four cross-sector leaders to coach a charity on everything from finance and governance to increasing its impact.

They will meet for three hours, once a month, for 10 months, at Pilotlight's London office.

There will also be a site visit to the beneficiary charity.

Travel costs are available as part of the scheme.

Pilotlight traditionally matches business leaders with charities, but last year, to mark its fifteenth birthday, it invited charity leaders to pass on their skills by becoming "Pilotlighters".

The chief executives of the Small Charities Coalition, Leukaemia UK and Sheffield Futures were among those chosen.

Among the charities they supported were Recovery Cymru and the Scottish Borders Rape Crisis Centre.

Iain Morrison, chief executive of Revive MS Support, who coached the Scottish Borders Rape Crisis Centre, said: "It is very easy in our sector to become insular, but this involvement has reinforced for me the impact and importance of the third sector in delivering needful and professional services."

A Pilotlight supporter has now provided funding for a second round of bursaries for charity coaches.

Gillian Murray, chief executive of Pilotlight, said: "Our business members overwhelmingly report improved leadership and coaching skills from being exposed to external challenges and from sharing different perspectives with fellow coaches and partner charities.

"That’s why we’re keen to offer this development opportunity to successful leaders within the third sector."

Sally Bailey, former chief executive of the clothing retailer White Stuff, became the new chair of Pilotlight last week.

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