[Management Development Network]



About MDN
MDN in Scotland
How to join MDN
Choosing a consultant
MDN members
Regional index
Management specialisms
Sector specialisms
Members' individual pages
Books by members



Independent Specialists
in Management, Governance and Organisational Development
with Voluntary Organisations

The Management Development Network was set up in 1991 to provide opportunities for established independent management trainers and consultants working with voluntary organisations to meet each other, discuss issues of common professional concern and develop stronger working links.

To fulfil its purposes MDN seeks to provide its members with regular opportunities for:

  • learning about developments and changes affecting governance and management in voluntary organisations;
  • discussions on common issues and concerns;
  • peer group support and information exchange;
  • raising problems of general professional interest;
  • exploring similarities and differences in values and approaches to working with voluntary organisations and associated agencies.

Secondary purposes of MDN are:

  • to promote the role of independent management consultants and trainers within the voluntary sector;
  • to encourage reflection on the principles and practice of intervention in voluntary organisations;
  • to encourage approaches to voluntary sector governance and management rooted in empowerment of disadvantaged and oppressed people and groups;
  • to encourage approaches to consultancy and training which foster participation in organisational decision-making and control, and quality of service;
  • to promote the self-development of MDN members;
  • to encourage members to work jointly and cooperate with each other;
  • to help staff, volunteers, board members and users of voluntary organisations to understand the values, functions and approaches of MDN members;
  • to support the establishment and running of local and regional networks for management consultants and trainers and to liaise with them and with other relevant organisations.


MDN organises seminars for its members with expert speakers, more active or participatory workshops, and occasional social events. Most of these events take place in London, and many are led by MDN members.

MDN members in Scotland also meet separately, as MDN in Scotland, and organise a programme of events in Edinburgh. These are open to MDN members from other parts of the UK, and are sometimes open to trainers or consultants based in Scotland who meet some but not all of the MDN membership criteria and are therefore not eligible to become members.

Members outside London and Scotland are encouraged to organise events locally.

Regular emailings to members contain details of MDN activities and other news of interest to members, including relevant publications and events. Information from external bodies is circulated to members, and there is an email service to inform members of freelance training and consultancy work opportunities that are notified to MDN.

An online directory of voluntary sector management consultants and trainers includes guidance on choosing and using freelance consultants and trainers, as well as contact details for all full members of MDN, a regional listing of members, indexes of management and sector specialisms to help organisations locate the most appropriate members, and an individual profile of each member with more information about their specialisms and interests.

MDN cooperates with other organisations working in the sector. Where appropriate, it serves as a mechanism for discussions or negotiations with other bodies on behalf of its members, or to make submissions from members (for example, in relation to changes in Scottish charity law).


MDN is open to individuals based in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland who meet all the following criteria:

  • Independent: they are independent of the organisations to which they provide consultancy or training.
  • Self-employed: their work is done primarily on a freelance or self-employed basis. This may also include members of workers' co-operatives, partners in a partnership, and individuals who have set up their own limited company to carry out their own business.
  • Specialising in and prioritising work with charities, other voluntary organisations and organisations such as community interest companies: they work exclusively or primarily with voluntary organisations/NGOs (rather than the public sector, or businesses which have a profit motive even if the profit is to be used for good causes).
  • Focus on organisational, governance and management development in voluntary organisations: the focus of their work is on management, governance and organisational development issues such as governance, planning, quality, evaluation, roles, organisational structures, working relationships, organisational cultures, or systems and procedures for managing people, work, money or information. Specialisms such as fundraising, marketing and public relations are less likely to be appropriate.
  • Established: they have met all the above criteria for two years or more.

If you meet these criteria and are interested in joining, see How to join MDN.


For more about training and consultancy for voluntary organisations see Choosing and briefing a management consultant or trainer. For details of MDN members see the list of MDN members, the regional index, the index of management specialisms, the index of sector specialisms, and members' individual profiles. You can also find out about books on voluntary sector governance and management by MDN members.

For further information contact
PO Box 63494, London SE4 9DA
tel 07479 287325
To email click

The email address is in an anti-spam coding that requires Javascript, so you will not be able to see it if Javascript is not activated on your computer. It is mdn at mdn.org.uk, with the spaces and "at" replaced by the @ symbol.

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| MDN members | Regional index | Members' individual pages |
Members' management specialisms | Sector specialisms |
| Books by members |




Management Development Network