Developing the Five Capabilities

Developing the Five Capabilities

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Develop and apply the five capabilities of sustainable organisations.

About this event

Developing the Five Capabilities image

Masterclass 2 in a series of 3

We've updated our core Lasting Difference workshops, packaging them into three standalone online masterclasses. Enthusiastic feedback from our recent pilots shows that this new format is a successful way to achieve these core learning outcomes:

  • Increased ability to sustain learning and innovation from Covid-19.
  • Improved understanding of how to sustain work and/or its impact, using the five sustainability capabilities.
  • Improved readiness for transitioning from survival to sustainability, with clearly identified exit strategies.

Scroll down for workshop outlines. Click 'Tickets' to book your place (follow the links below for the other two masterclasses).


These participatory online workshops take place on our online learning platform, Big Blue Button. They replicate everything you'd expect from face-to-face participation:

  • Clear content delivery supported by slides, handouts & extra resources.
  • Full interaction, with audio, video, text chat, polls and shared notes.
  • Peer sharing and support with breakout spaces for small group activity, supported by members of the Lasting Difference team.

This session: Developing the Five Capabilities of Sustainable Organisations

This first masterclass explored the principles of sustainable organisations. This one identifies the five core capabilities and helps you make plans for developing them:

  • Involvement: the glue that holds organisations together
  • Income Generation: a holistic approach to every source of revenue
  • Innovation: radical or (more likely) incremental changes to what came before
  • Improvement: getting better all the time
  • Impact Measurement: compelling stories about the difference you truly make

As with the other masterclasses, tutor input will be followed by supportive group activity, sharing challenges, generating ideas and developing solutions based on your experience of bringing the capabilities to life.

Click on the links below to find out more about the other sessions and book your place.

Masterclass 1: Understanding sustainability

17th September 10am-12.45pm

Understand the principles and develop the practices you need to survive - and sustain your work - in a post-crisis world. Use your learning from the current crisis and recent years to identify what to sustain.

Masterclass 3: Following the Exit Signs

15th October 10am-12.45pm

Introducing and exploring the six possible exit strategies for any stage in a project or organisational lifecycle. Identify and plan for the most appropriate strategy for transitioning from survival to sustainability.

About The Lasting Difference

These sessions are led by Graeme Reekie, author of the popular Lasting Difference toolkit and Director of Wren and Greyhound (now trading as The Lasting Difference). Graeme is a respected charity consultant who has supported nonprofit organisations through workshops, facilitation and strategic consultancy over the last 15 years. Members of the Lasting Difference team will also be on hand to help out during the workshops.

The updated fifth edition of the Lasting Difference has just been published and is available from, with more than 6000 copies now in use by charities and social enterprises around the world.


Q. Do I need to book for all three events separately?

A. Yes, please help us manage the events by booking onto each event separately. You can do this using the links above.

Q. How many people can take part?

A. There are up to 50 places available for each session. Up to three people from the same organisation take part, but please book separately as this makes it easier to manage individual log-ins to our online platform.

Q. Do I need any special equipment or software to take part?

A. No, other than a computer with internet access, microphone and, ideally, a webcam. You don't need to download software, we will send you details of how to log in to the learning platform. You will also be encouraged to visit the virtual training room in advance to have a look around and check for any technical issues. The platform works best with Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, but other browsers are supported and should work smoothly as long as you are using an up to date version.

Q. What if I only want to do one or two of the workshops, or if I can't attend one?

A. That's fine! Taken together, the masterclasses provide a coherent programme to help you address sustainability in your project or organisation. But they also stand alone in themselves, with short refreshers at the start to introduce any core concepts you may have missed.

Q. What is the refund policy if I need to cancel?

You can cancel your booking within two weeks of the event for a full refund. After this date, we cannot provide refunds because of the administration costs we will have incurred.

Either way, if you book a place but need to cancel, please let us know as soon as possible by emailing: