Cost Recovery Workshops

How to get more money from bid submissions through better cost recovery

What is cost recovery?

Cost recovery ensures that charities understand the full cost of their activities and services by seeing that all costs are counted — including overheads. This in turn allows them to cost and price their bids more effectively.

Cost recovery is vital for charities because it gives them the resources to become sustainable, vibrant and, in turn, to bid more effectively to funders.

Our workshops

Many charities funded by government grants and contracts, as well as trusts and foundations, are feeling squeezed as competition increases and overhead levels come under pressure. We understand this pressure and want charities to maximise their cost recovery bids and to receive more funds, thereby becoming more sustainable for the future.

Cass Business School's Centre for Charity Effectiveness will run two free workshops on cost recovery, one in Birmingham and one in London, to help develop better cost recovery practice. The aim of these workshops is to ensure that charities are confident about calculating and talking about the true costs of their services and using that information when bidding for grants and contracts.

Accompanying the workshops is a free toolkit that will help attendees put their learning into practice at their own organisations.

Who is this for?

These workshops will be for FDs, Business Development Managers, CEOs and trustees.

Why does cost recovery matter to me?

Understanding their true costs is crucial to a charity's future. Our experience shows that:

  • 1/3 know their overheads, and are good at recovering costs and negotiating with local authorities to cover these;
  • 1/3 don't know their cost base or overhead levels, and therefore can't negotiate effectively; and
  • 1/3 are on the journey but need some help in developing better skills and understanding. This also enables charities to have a better dialogue with funders.

The workshop will be led by Mark Salway, Director of Sustainable Finance at Cass Centre for Charity Effectiveness, who has 22 years of cost recovery experience in the finance and charity sector and has written and lectured widely on this subject. He has worked with both small and large charities, as well commercial organisations.

From previous workshops, a large number of charities have used the manual and toolkit to establish the true cost of their services. They have been more confident in negotiating with funders and have regularly received more money as a result. In a recent example, this led to a charity being able to renegotiate an extra £100,000 on a £750,000 contract (13% more) that was previously operating at a deficit. This has given them more money to help beneficiaries elsewhere.

Unfortunately all dates for our Cost Recovery workshops have passed. We currently have no plans to hold any future workshops.