Contracts and commissioning overview


Charities and public service delivery: an introduction (CC37) – this guidance from the Charity Commission provides an overview of the legal and good practice issues charities need to consider when delivering public services.

Public service delivery – guidance from the Charity Commission with the rules for charities on public service delivery and how they can deliver these on behalf of organisations like local authorities, the NHS, or government departments.

Delivering public services – NCVO/Knowhow guide for charities with information on commissioning, procurement and contracts.

What is commissioning? – NCVO/Knowhow free information, detailing the ‘commissioning cycle’ and how charities can engage in commissioning.

Tendering for public sector contracts – a guide for social enterprises and voluntary organisations in Scotland, available on the Forth Sector Development website.

Scoping contracts and finding tender opportunities – NCVO/Knowhow lists resources to help charities find public sector contract opportunities.

Working with the government or local councils – an overview on the subject, on the How charities work website.

Charities Q&A: procurement, contracts and grants – this article on The Guardian’s section on Charities and the Law explores and answers questions on procurement, contracts and grants.

Commissioning and contracts – an online key terms glossary for the Voluntary and Community Sector by Community Action Southwark.


Useful Organisations/Websites

How charities work – this website explains how charities are run and has useful resources to understand how they work; it also provides answers to frequently asked questions people often ask about charities.


Share your content:

We know the very best people to help Visionary members are other Visionary members.  Organisations who share a similar vision and mission, and experience similar problems and predicaments but who may have found some nimble solutions and resolutions. Please do consider sharing your guides, plans, templates to help others take their work forward. We can, if you wish, password protect your work so that anything you share will be seen exclusively by Visionary’s network. If you have great knowledge to share, please email your documents to Visionary


Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise organisations: a bidder’s guide to working with central and local government – (13 pp., 1MB) – this guide, written by the Office for Civil Society with support from the Cabinet Office, is aimed at voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations (VCSEs) considering selling to central and local government or becoming part of the supply chain for delivering public services.

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