Does leadership training influence charity performance?

21 Mar 2019

Pro Bono Economics’ report for charity Clore Social Leadership – whose aim is to support aspiring leaders in the third sector – shows a clear link between leadership training investment and improved charity performance.

The publication aims to understand the prevalence of leadership and management (L&M) training in charities compared to other small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and whether there is a correlation between training and improved performance.

It shows that charities are seemingly more likely to provide L&M training than other SMEs, and that more charities are planning to increase the leadership capabilities of managers in future years. Furthermore, those providing L&M training were more likely to have increased turnover and to have introduced new processes and services.

Clore Social Leadership is a registered charity working to both support and develop social leaders, enabling them to transform their organisations and communities. They do this through the provision of programmes, coaching and peer-to-peer learning and resources. This report was commissioned as part of the charity’s wider aim to understand how investing in management training can drive performance. 

This research was compiled by Dr Mark Graham and Toby Kenward, in association with Dan Healy from FTI Consulting.

The team used data from the 2016 Small Business Survey, published by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), one of a series dating back to 2003. The survey involved conducting telephone interviews with 9,248 SMEs between August 2016 and January 2017, as well as the Longitudinal Small Business Study Panel. The latter sets out responses provided in the 2015 and 2016 surveys from 7,279 participant small businesses from the 2015/16 Small Business Survey. This information is set against relevant data drawn from 596 registered charities.

The implications of this data - following examination - form the basis of this report, which also suggest areas that might from benefit from further research in future.

Our thanks go to Mark, Toby and Dan for all their work on this report, along with Stuart Roddam from BEIS for the advice he provided throughout the project.

The report can be downloaded by clicking the link below and completing the survey.

Download files

There are files you can download associated with this publication. Please complete our quick 2-question survey and you'll be redirected straight to the files

Complete the survey