How it works

1 Needs

We pair key decision makers from each and every charity with one of our qualified business coaches for a needs analysis session. The aim being to find out what assistance they really need from the business community. 

From this, a 90-day action plan is created that is tailored directly to the charity and its specific goals. Our intention is to create three SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic & timely) goals that are skillset specific.


2 Actions

Smart Aid then matches professionals from its database with the required skills to help the charity complete its SMART goals.

Each SMART goal is designed to only take four hours of the professional’s time, while delivering maximum impact to the charity.


3 Review

After the 90 days, a review is completed of the outcomes for the charity including the financial impact of each SMART Goal. The results are also fed back to each volunteer.

To date the average value to the charity of a SMARTAid  90-day action plan has been £8,000.  

The process can then be repeated every 90 days, taking the charity towards its short, medium & long-term objectives. 

The process enables volunteers to work with charities that resonate most with them and gives them experiences outside their normal business circles. Volunteers can reflect that this is the most effective way they can volunteer their time to help their local community. 


Benefits to charities

  1. Access to a professional business coaching session that identifies problem areas.
  2. Formulation of SMART Goals to address and resolve any problems / create new opportunities.
  3. Access to experienced business professionals with the skillsets that match your SMART Goal needs.
  4. Ability to access services otherwise financially unattainable.
  5. Access to potential new supporters.
  6. Greater efficiency so that charities can maintain and grow their front-line services.


  • I just wanted to say a massive thank you for last Thursday, we both felt a fresh sense of focus and enthusiasm following the meeting. The tempo of the meeting was ideal and kept us on track throughout. I found it was the perfect mix of relaxed enough to open up and feel happy talking about future ambitions while focussed and encouraged a challenge to the ideas. I found it enjoyable and rewarding; even if things were to move no further just the opportunity to bounce ideas off people with James and Chris's level of experience was fantastic.

    Carl Harrison AIM Education
  • James and David are onto something big. Big for Charities. Big for society they have designed an elegant solution for high quality support. I think Smart-Aid has the ability to help Charities reclaim the leadership role in helping to create a better society. And, I am pretty excited to back these guys; they have the killer combination of passion and process that will make a huge impact

    Todd Hannula, Shine Business centre
  • I would recommend to anyone thinking about volunteering with Smart Aid to just do it!

    John Readman – Smart Aid Hero
  • Support 2.0: Smart-aid brings high value targeted support with an elegant solution built for Charities in the 21st century

    Todd Hannula, Shine Business Centre
  • This is a hugely rewarding experience that increases your horizons, empathy and job satisfaction and allows you to give something back and make a real impact in your local community. This is a great opportunity to advance your professional growth and add experiences to your CV that are outside your normal business world, but show how flexible your skills are.

    James Waggott
  • Initially I was a little nervous about volunteering with Smart Aid as I wasn’t confident that i was important enough and was dubious about how much support i could really give with just 4 hours of my time and if it would make any difference. It was really interesting working with AIM and i realised how much knowledge i did actually have so it has definitely improved my confidence in my skills. I was blown away later when i was told how much impact i had had. It’s amazing that a few hours of my time could contribute £3,600 to the charity - i really had no idea! I would recommend to anyone thinking about volunteering with Smart Aid to just do it!

    Clare Pennock-Halpen, Smart Aid Hero

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  • We are using community action as a recognised tool for personal development

    National Grid
  • Volunteering can also help develop key skills vital for leadership and management roles

  • Community action is at the heart of National Grids CSR Strategy. Employees are encouraged to participate in volunteering activities which match their interests and development needs

  • This growing body of research firmly supports the link between volunteering and employee development

  • We have a target for 65% of our employees to be involved in citizenship this year

    Nationwide building society
  • Volunteering provides a viable alternative to traditional employee development

  • Volunteering activities are effective in boosting employee morale, which is particularly important in challenging times

    Patsy Francis UBS
  • I think you can talk yourself out of doing these things, because they do seem an addition to your workload, but what you get in return far exceeds what you have to give out in terms of your time. So if anyone was thinking of volunteering i would say commit to it and go for it, because you get so much back

    Sarah Austin
  • We encourage our top 100 managers to link with a charitable organisation. This not only benefits their career, but is benefitting the company and our community

    Marks & Spencer
  • I had a great time doing it and listening to Verlie who ran LCC telling us the story of what the centre does for kids and how they can find things out that are going on in their lives and change it made me feel I was doing the right thing and more than happy to use what I can do to help.

    Richard Nicholson – Smart Aid Hero
  • PwC encourages all employees to volunteer in activities connected to one of its three key CSR areas of focus: education, employability and the environment

  • An overwhelming link between employees volunteering and developing a wider perspective about the world around them and their community

  • People, before they start volunteering, think they are pretty highly skilled. Even so, they score themselves higher after they have volunteered

  • We created a skills matrix 10 years ago to demonstrate the link between skills gained and volunteering activities. The matrix which reflects our values and key employee competencies, can be used by employees to select volunteering activities based on their development needs and skills they wish to use/practice or develop