Consultancy & Advice

Our specialist Community Advisors can offer consultancy and bespoke advice to help you achieve your objectives by assessing your organisation and project set-up by providing guidance, resources and sign-posting to relevant organisations. 

We cover areas such as legal structure, applying for funding and correct governance. We help established groups to move forward or simply people who have a great idea to improve their community! If you need more in-depth advice or training we can provide bespoke training and consultancy tailored to your organisation. Our charges are below, please also read our Customer Service Standards document for your information. 

Prefer to email us? Or feel free to telephone on 01305 250921 instead.

Bespoke Support Available:

We can help you with almost any aspect of managing or running a voluntary, charity or social enterprise organisation. We can steer you to the correct resources, point you to the appropriate training and give you tools & templates.
We offer one hour’s consultancy; a Zoom call of up to 45 minutes with you and your colleagues followed by a detailed email with the information and links you need.
Our advisers are experienced and knowledgeable – and if we don’t know that answer, we will find it out for you!
Please email for an appointment.
COST £50 +VAT for DCA members and £60 + VAT for non-members.

Our experienced trainers can develop bespoke training from small group Trustee Training to a whole-team workshop for 20 or more people. For instance:

  • Two-hour workshop or training session on a subject of your choice such as trustee recruitment or policies. This costs around £230 + VAT for members and £290 + VAT for non-members (up to 6 attendees).
  • Half-day (3.5 hour) training on 2-3 topics, with interactive exercises. This costs about £335 + VAT for DCA members and £440 + VAT for non-members

Our comprehensive knowledge of the sector means that the training covers exactly what you need to get the best results.

Senior management in the voluntary sector is not for the faint-hearted. As well as the job of keeping everything on track and answering to the Board,, you are constantly fire-fighting. It can be difficult to see your way through the challenges.What about taking a breath. Taking a look at what’s going on, from outside, with the help of an unbiased observer.

What is mentoring?
Mentoring is a two-way learning relationship in which a mentor and mentee agree to a partnership, where they work collaboratively. Together, they define specific goals and then work towards these over a series of sessions. It can also work as a three-way relationship; for instance Chair and senior staff member.

What will I get out of it?
The outcome of this process will mean that the challenge you brought  has been re-focussed and dissected. We will develop your skills, abilities and knowledge, so that you feel more confident and on top of things.

What does a mentor do?
A mentor will encourage and support a mentee to make the most of their themselves and their role. Your mentor will offer: 

  • A sounding board
  • A new perspective
  • Their own knowledge and experience
  • A non-judgmental approach
  • Constructive feedback
  • Honesty and openness
  • Signposting and resources

How can we help?

DCA’s mentoring offer is aimed at senior managers or board members in the non-profit sector. Our mentors have direct experience of what you’re going through and understand the context you are working within. We can offer that space to discuss the issues and an experienced person to help with suggestions and signposting.

Mentoring for a staff member or Trustee – six one-hour sessions across an agreed period to help someone to think about their role and its demands and to support them to make changes. This will cost £450 + VAT for DCA members and £600 + VAT for non-members.

Once you have purchased mentoring, we will be in touch to arrange some dates. Alternatively contact for more information.

External facilitation can be useful so that everyone on the team can take part. It also brings a fresh eye to the challenges you are going through – and someone skilled to help you work through these. We can design a half-day or full day of interactive discussion and working together – focussed on the topics of your choice. Our experienced trainers can cover issues  such as strategic development, roles and responsibilities, team development and much more.

  • Half day (around 3 hours delivery) costs £310 + VAT for DCA members and £410 for non-members
  • Full day (around 6 hours delivery) costs £511 + VAT for DCA members and £622 for non-members

Please contact to discuss your needs.

As well as support and consultancy we can also help you to become more “Fit for Funding” with a range of resources for you to use to “spring clean” any area of your organisation – with a little help from your friends at DCA.

DCA is a member of the Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) network, England’s largest grouping of rural community support charities.  ACRE and its 38 county-based member organisations, work together to advocate on behalf of rural communities, and support a wide range of community-led initiatives using nationally established good practice. 

Sign up as a Member to gain our extra funding bulletins, or click to receive our fortnightly e-newsletter.
If you need something extra then please use this quick ‘Make an Enquiry’ form and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Social enterprise?

What’s a social enterprise? A social enterprise is a business that uses it’s profits to create positive social change. If you’ve got a great idea or are an existing social enterprise then we can help. To get business support and advice on your social enterprise then we certainly recommend you have a chat with one of our Advisors.

Alternatively, if you are registered as unemployed or classed as economically inactive then our ‘Inspire Dorset’ programme can help you set up and establish a Social Enterprise.