Changing Lives. Inspiring Action.

Frequently Asked Questions.

... 1. What is your remit?

To empower disadvantaged persons and communities in the United Kingdom and globally through education. TVF’s focus is to:

  • Provide access to education through building schools
  • Improve education standards through teacher training
  • Create sustainable livelihoods by managing micro-financing programmes
  • Deliver educational programmes in health, sport and personal development
  • Provide training and opportunities to marginalised groups or individuals
  • Build capacity with local partners to ensure the greatest possible impact.

...2. What is your Vision and Mission?


An inspired world helping those less fortunate



To inspire action by:

  • Developing a network of True Volunteers who engage in a Social Career
  • Working with small charities to build their capacity, reach and impact
  • Creating tailored, solution-driven and low-cost programmes for our partners and donors

...3. What are your principles?

TVF’s key principle is relative to its cost base, funding model and Pay to Work principle. The charity works hard to keep costs to a minimum, which is made possible through working with over 100 True Volunteers who agree to Pay to Work by engaging in a Social Career and through a unique funding model which provides a platform for TVF’s Corporate Partners and Donors to give back.

...4. What were the original ideas behind TVF?

There are many pain points in the Charity Sector. Small charities, corporates and volunteers are faced with real issues. TVF addresses these issues. Volunteers want to work for a charity where they can make a difference and volunteer on their own terms. Corporates and donors need support in charitable giving. Some small charities need assistance in delivering projects and securing funding. Well-placed commentators have also highlighted the vast amounts that have been and continue to be mismanaged by charities and vast sums of money are being lost through an increasing cost base. TVF was created to address these issues. Click here to watch a short video by TVF’s founder to learn more.

...5. What makes TVF unique?

TVF differentiates through its operating model and works to link together the corporate sector, small charity partners and True Volunteers. TVF is unique for three simple reasons:

1. Most projects do not have any administration cost and the charity cost base is extremely low

2. TVF works with over 100 True Volunteers who agree to Pay to Work. True Volunteers do not get paid and do not claim general expenses. In return they gain a Social Career

3. TVF builds capacity with small charities, partnering with them to implement projects and scale their operations.

...6. Why does some of your messaging say 100 per cent of donations went to a project and some does not? This is confusing.

From 2010, following conversations with donors, including BNP Paribas in Paris, TVF has been planning to take its unique charity to the next level. In January 2013 this was fully implemented when TVF employed its first full-time staff member. The reason for this was to allow more people to benefit from its work and to safeguard major projects which were being solely managed by True Volunteers. In the light of this strategic move an adjustment to the financial model was implemented in 2013 to ensure TVF has core funding for this purpose. The core funding model was only implemented in January 2013 and the goal for TVF is to have a cost base of less than 10 per cent of total revenues.

Every TVF project carries a donation ratio coin. This lets our donors and partners know exactly how much of every pound donated was spent on the project and how much was spent on administration. TVF’s simple promise is to ensure that no less than 91 per cent of all project donations go direct to beneficiaries.  Click here to read more.

...7. Why would companies want to work with TVF?

TVF has provided tailored CSR programmes to 50 corporate partners and works closely with the British and various international governments on strategic projects. Through TVF corporate partners can implement social projects in line with their CSR objectives and brand projects in line with wider marketing objectives.

Due to its unique principles and pioneering financial model TVF ensures that no less than 91 per cent of every pound donated goes directly to each corporate partner’s chosen beneficiaries. Each programme is extremely low cost and high impact, made possible through working with over 100 True Volunteers who agree to Pay to Work .

...8. Why don't you implement projects yourselves?

TVF believes there is a huge potential within the Charity Sector. Nearly half of the estimated 161,000 UK-registered charities have revenues of less than £10,000. However, many of these can be empowered to achieve more with additional resources. Why should TVF reinvent the wheel when it can leverage existing small charities with similar values/principles and in turn build capacity for the betterment of the Charity Sector? TVF prefers to create ‘Joint Venture’ projects with small grass-roots organisations to increase reach and impact. This approach gives all parties the opportunity to cost effectively scale. It also enables its corporate partners and donors to have a strong global footprint.


TVF does implement some of its UK projects directly and is currently working with businesses, sports celebrities, sports clubs and schools to implement a five- year educational programme across the London Borough of Merton to empower over 27,000 school children. Click here to find out more.

...9. What is your typical Charity Partner?

A typical partner is a registered and regulated charity or small local grass-roots organisation with revenues of under £250,000. TVF has found there are numerous non-government organisations which can provide it with excellent implementation capability across the globe. Many of these organisations need support in fundraising and other resources such as Project Management and Monitoring & Evaluation support.

...10. Do you just pass on money to charity partners like an agent?

No. TVF builds capacity and implements joint venture projects. In a typical charity partnership TVF provides up to nine project management components – access to funding is just one component. Click here to read more.

...11. What is your vetting process?

TVF undertakes a strict and methodical vetting process of all charity partners. Once approved, a project valued typically at a few hundred pounds is undertaken before larger projects are scheduled following positive project evaluation. An ongoing vetting process occurs via TVF’s Charity Partner Accreditation Process.

...12. What happens if a charity partner uses grant funding from TVF unethically?

Legal agreements are drawn up by Dundas & Wilson, LLP, a major legal firm in the UK. All charities need to engage in a legally binding agreement before any funds can be remitted. All agreements are subject to English Law. The majority of charity partners also are members of registered bodies (e.g. The Charity Commission) which TVF can approach during cases of suspected foul play.

...13. Can you implement a project anywhere in the world?

TVF has a global infrastructure to allow completion of projects anywhere in the world. Partners exist in many countries, but not all. However, it is not unusual for a donor to request projects in a country where TVF has not worked before and for TVF to use its Charity Partner Database and extensive informal network to accredit a new partner.

...14. Do you only undertake projects in the developing world?

TVF’s history has been in the developing world. However, the majority of True Volunteers and Corporate Donors are in the UK. From 2011 TVF began implementing more projects within the UK through working closely with the British Government on strategic projects and with partners across the UK.

...15. What is your ultimate vision?

This exists at a number of different levels:

i) To regenerate areas – to work with central and local governments in order to provide a mini-economy in degenerated regions. This has happened regarding:


a) The Gampaha Regeneration Programme, where new developments (including a school, library, computer centre, drama studio, sports pitches) are maintained through the funds generated by a village microfinance programme.


b) The Madagascar IT Programme where 1 million people will be touched through the provision of free computing in an initiative with the Ministry of Education and a number of partners including Microsoft.


c) The Newlove Neighbourhoods Fund, working in conjunction with Baroness Newlove, provided funding and resources to seven activists across the UK to address crime at grass-roots level.


ii) Corporate Sector – will donate their employees’ time so they provide professional services on a pro bono basis for TVF and its small charity partners. This is currently happening with a number of companies in the UK and one organisation in Asia.


iii) Charities – to increase reach and impact through providing funding, full project management support and skilled volunteer resources to selected charities who become strategic partners.


iv) True Volunteers – to mobilise thousands of True Volunteers who are all committed to a long-term Social Career within the UK and internationally. To recruit more retired professionals and housewives. To educate the next generation in social responsibility through integrating with university syllabuses and providing MBA and undergraduate students with practical exposure to the corporate and social worlds.

...16. Can I True Volunteer abroad?

Yes, through TVF’s programme True Volunteer World. Click here to read more.

...17. What are the charity's objectives?

To empower disadvantaged persons and communities in the United Kingdom and globally through education. This might be achieved through a number of means including the building of schools, provision of microfinance, capacity building and employment training.

...18. Does TVF have a political, social or religious bias?

TVF is totally unbiased in its approach to race, creed, gender, language, disability, sexuality and political orientation. For example, in Sri Lanka, where recent decades have witnessed one of the most complex ethnic conflicts, TVF is proud to have successfully provided support to opposing ethnic groups, without regard to their political views, and received recognition for its efforts from all sides.

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Our Details

True Volunteer Foundation
8th Floor, Eland House
Bressenden Place
London SW1E 5DU

Phone: 0203 468 7671