We're updating our criteria

Two people meeting over coffee. Credit: https://nappy.co/liwordson
Sarah Dewe
Head of Digital at Reach Volunteering

We want to keep our service open to as many organisations doing good as possible.

We recognise that alongside registered charities, there are many other types of organisations providing public benefit. Our service is increasingly being used by a wider range of organisations including social enterprises, Community Interest Companies and not for profits. 

In response to this, we have updated our criteria and organisation profile form, and simplified our charging structure. We are therefore asking organisations to reconfirm their eligibility.

In doing so, we are ensuring that our limited resource is used in line with our mission and funding, and that we are providing better clarity for our community. 

Reach is a small charity and the cost of delivering our service is heavily subsidised. It is therefore important that we use our limited resources to support the organisations that we are funded to help.

By getting the right information about your organisation upfront, we are:

  • Streamlining our review process.
  • Improving response times.
  • Providing quicker access to our service for eligible organisations.
  • Ensuring that we consistently apply the same criteria to everyone who wants to join. 

Volunteers also want to know what type of organisation they are offering their skills to. By asking organisations for richer and more accurate information, volunteers using our service can make more informed choices.

To help organisations understand the changes and how they might be affected we have produced the following FAQs.



What changes are you making to the eligibility criteria?

Our criteria for organisations has evolved to be more specific for organisations who are not registered with the Charity Commission. We are asking for more detailed information to ensure eligibility. This includes:

  • As a society or union; your FCA numbers for societies and unions.
  • As a social enterprise; a link to your listing in the Social Enterprise UK directory. 
  • As a private limited company; your registration number with Companies House which reflects either CIC or limited by Guarantee status.
  • As a small unregistered community group; details of your team size, existing operations and demonstrable public benefit.

How and when do I need to reconfirm my eligibility?

The changes came into effect 14 June 2022. After this date, the next time you post a role, you will be promoted to update your information. Alternatively, you will be able to update your organisation information via your dashboard

Why are you be asking me to reconfirm my eligibility? I'm already registered.

We are asking organisations to reconfirm their eligibility:  

  • To ensure the information that we hold is accurate and up-to-date. Some organisations using our service have changed their structure since registering with us, for example, they may have subsequently registered as a charity.
  • To ensure the information that we hold is comprehensive for all organisations. As we have learnt more about different organisation structures, we have introduced new requests for information such as the Financial Conduct Authority registration number for societies and links to the Social Enterprise UK directory for social enterprise organisations. This information is missing from those organisations who registered before these amendments were made.
  • We have clarified the use of our service by private limited companies. We are only able to accept these where their Companies House registration reflects CIC status. Some organisations registered do not have this registration and will no longer be able to use our service.
  • We have changed our charging structure. To ensure organisations are alerted to the correct charges for them, we need to ensure their organisation classification is correct.

Why are you making these changes?

In making these changes we aim to:

  • Maintain focus; ensuring our limited resources are used in line with our mission and funding.
  • Enable accuracy and transparency; supporting organisations to better describe their structure. 
  • Provide richer and more accurate information for volunteers enabling them to make more informed decisions.
  • Provide clarity; making it easier to understand who is eligible to use our service and any costs which may be incurred when posting roles.
  • Improve our Service team response times; getting the right information from organisations and streamlining our review process, making it quicker for eligible organisations to access our services.
  • Ensure consistency; applying the same criteria to everyone who wants to join.

I’m a registered charity. Are there any changes for me?

No. If you are a registered charity, you will see no change to our charges or the use of our service. You simply need to reconfirm your details when you register a new role.

I’m a private limited company. Can I use Reach’s service?

We only accept private limited companies where their registration with Companies House reflects CIC or Limited by Guarantee status.

I’m a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP). Can I use Reach’s service?

Organisations whose primary purpose is profit making including LLPs can only register to use our service if their registration with Companies House reflects CIC status.

I’m a start-up. Can I use Reach’s service?

Reach’s focus is to support registered charities and other not for profit organisations that have a team involved, are operational, demonstrating impact and have already delivered public benefit. We aim to add capacity and capability to established organisations. We do not accept organisations who do not meet this criteria.

I’m a small, unregistered community group. Can I use Reach’s service?

Small, unregistered community groups can use our service provided that they can confirm that they meet our criteria. We will need specific information from you including the size of the team involved, how long you have been operational and what evidence you have of demonstrable public benefit.

I'm already part of the Reach community. What if I can’t provide the information required to meet the updated criteria?

We realise some existing organisations may no longer qualify to use our service, for example, those registered with Companies House as private limited companies, without CIC or Limited by Guarantee status. If you have existing open roles, you will be able to continue to use our service and access your dashboard to find volunteers for these roles. Unfortunately, you will no longer be able to create new opportunities.

Who is not eligible to join or remain as part of the Reach community?

To help ensure our limited resources are used in line with our mission, our service is not available to organisations:

  • Who are not based in the UK.
  • Who are not yet operational (including start-ups).
  • Where there is not a team involved e.g. a solo enterprise.
  • Whose primary purpose is profit making e.g. private limited companies or LLPs, except where their registration reflects that they are limited by Guarantee (without share capital) or CIC status.

Will my organisation be charged more to use Reach’s services?

We have updated our charging structure. We offer heavily subsidised services to our community and are please to be able to expand our free offer: recruitment of skills-based volunteers will be free for all organisations, regardless of type or income.

In making our charging changes, there are some organisations who may experience an increase in charges when posting a trustee/governor role. Specifically, this includes: 

  • If you were registered as a small voluntary organisation (unincorporated), a credit union or a community benefit society, with an income of over £250k, you will now be charged the subsidised rate of £250 + VAT  (previously £150 + VAT).
  • If your eligible organisation is not registered as a charity or educational body, and your income is over £250k, you will now be charged the increased (but subsidised) rate of £250 + VAT. (previously £225 + VAT). 

All other service charges will remain the same or in some cases will be reduced.

What services do Reach offer for free?

It will be free for all our community to post skills-based volunteering roles (non-trustee/governor), using our Self-service offer. It may also be free to recruit to trustee/governor roles depending on your organisation type and income. Reach is always free for people looking to volunteer their skills. 

I don’t think I'm eligible anymore. What do I need to do?

If your organisation is no longer eligible to use our service, you will be able to complete existing recruitment but unable to post new roles. You can request to have your organisation and contact details removed from our systems by emailing service@reachvolunteering.org.uk and making your request. Otherwise, your data will be deleted in line with our data retention schedules and automated processes.

My organisation type has changed. What do I need to do?

When you next post a role, you will be prompted to update your information. At this point, you will be automatically guided through the steps. You will also be able to update your information via your dashboard.