Cost Recovery

Effective cost recovery is vital to securing a charity’s future. Cass Centre for Charity Effectiveness provides nonprofits will the tools, knowledge and guidance needed in order to understand cost recovery and how to use it to ensure maximum impact for beneficiaries.

Helping your charity understand cost recovery and how to use it

Cost recovery is critical to costing and pricing services and activities in charities. It enables charities to see what they should charge funders to break-even or generate a surplus or profit. In return, charities who understand their cost bases typically recover a greater level of overheads in their bid submissions.

Many charities feel squeezed as competition increases and overhead levels come under pressure. We understand this pressure and want charities to maximise their cost recovery and to receive more funds, becoming more sustainable in the future.

We have developed some resources to assist you with your cost recovery journey.

Useful resources

Cost recovery toolkit

The toolkit will help you to understand:

  • What cost recovery is
  • How to use cost recovery within your organisation
  • How to negotiate with funders to recover a greater level of overheads
  • How much activities and services ‘really’ cost so you can take strategic decisions to proceed or not.


Presented by Mark Salway, the webinar is a more interactive discussion of cost recovery and expands on how to build a financial model for your own organisation. Watch the cost recovery webinar.

Further reading

In this article, Mark Salway asks 'Are low overheads in charities the public's real concern, or does this miss the point?'. Read the article.

How we can help your organisation

  • Review your financial strategy and the funding mix and develop ways to help you achieve greater impact and sustainability.
  • Review your cost recovery models to measure any gap and develop strategies to close this gap in funding. This includes work on payment by results contracts.
  • Deliver cost recovery workshops for your finance team, senior management team and your Board to enhance and build understanding and confidence.
  • Review the efficiency and operational integrity of your finance processes, procedures and governance.
  • Help you consider ways to improve measurement of impact and management of data to help you focus on what is important for your organisation and to tell the story for impact investors.

We have also developed a worked example and a model template to assist you along your cost recovery journey. These will be added to our website in the near future.

If you would like to find out more about how we can help your organisation, please contact us using the details below.