The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has launched a training programme to tackle gaps in leadership skills among senior management.
The scheme has been welcomed by the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations, which has warned of a lack of qualifications among sector leaders.
The three-year voluntary-sector programme, which has £120,000 of backing from Barclays, will develop and support closer partnerships between chief executives, chairs and boards.
NCVO's chief executive Stuart Etherington said: "Too often energy is wasted on conflict and tense situations between the board and staff. Chairs can feel isolated and unsupported and chief executives often feel that boards do not fully appreciate the pressures that they are under."
The programme will use masterclasses and practical discussion and will consist of three elements: pilot mentoring and coaching, voluntary-sector chair development and good practice.
Meanwhile, NCVO is doubling its trustee and governance team to four staff members to boost policy and establishing a regional training programme.