The Charities HR Network, a registered charity in its own right, was set up over 20 years ago, to promote improved standards of HR services within national organisations in the voluntary, charitable and not for profit sector.

It forwards its aims by providing meetings and networking that enables its members to increase their own knowledge and aid their own development whilst sharing information with other members.

About Us

The CHRN Network meets six times a year in Central London. Meetings are either addressed by a visiting speaker or comprise of workshops led by members in order to facilitate the exchange of ideas and information.

Meeting agendas are strategic and are put together by the membership and facilitated by the steering group. This is a safe, friendly place to learn and share and get insight and new ideas to issues and problems we face – we run by 'Chatham House Rules'.

There is an annual employment law update provided by a leading Employment Lawyer who specialises in the sector plus sessions on other topics relevant to senior HR players including total reward, strategic HR and mediation.

*Update for members - March 2020*

We are continuing to support members during the constantly evolving situation organisations are facing at present, including advice and regular employment law updates.  In addition, an MS Teams site has been created to share resources and raise queries for discussion for our membership.  Please contact the coordinator at coordinator@chrn.org.uk for further details and to receive an invitation.

The organisation is managed by a Steering Group comprising six members. We aim to cover our costs and fees have been held for several years. Fees are between £124 and £366 per annum depending on the financial turnover of the charity by whom the member is employed.

We have arrangements to discounted services such as employment surveys and conferences. We have an online community on LinkedIn where members can take part in discussions and be kept informed of upcoming events.

We are a very diverse group of people across the third sector/not for profit spectrum.


Meeting format

Coffee available from 9.15

Formal meeting commences at 9.45 with a speaker (usually an interactive session) followed by an open forum for general exchange of ideas and networking

Buffet lunch available from 12.30 to 13.00 with the opportunity to network further

Please note the HR Summit is an all day event


Next Meetings

The following meetings/dates are planned for 2020:-


Monday 21 September - meeting to be held virtually, further details to follow later in August.


Wednesday 18 November - meeting (including AGM) to be held virtually.



All CHRN members have primary responsibility for the development and management of Human Resources in a charitable, voluntary or not for profit organisation established to represent the interests of its members on a national or significant geographical basis and with over 100 employees. Members normally are responsible for (a) the provision of direct HR advice to the Chief Executive and/or Trustees on human resource matters; and (b) the operation, activity and performance of the HR function. All members support the concept of Continuous Professional Development and to seek to develop and update their knowledge of professional HR issues.

Current members, of which there are c75, include the senior HR person from the following organisations –  Avenues Group, Crisis, Greenpeace, MNDARoyal British Legion, Royal Society for the Protection of BirdsSense, unicef and WWF.

Membership is not open to suppliers although carefully chosen suppliers sometimes make presentations.


Case Studies

Being new to charity sector, I have found the network invaluable as an opportunity to meet peers across the sector and share stories and experiences of good practice; both at, and in between meetings. The group is welcoming and the meetings interesting and informative. I’ve always believed that no organisation should operate in isolation and understanding first-hand how new or emerging HR and people issues are being handled in other charities is of enormous value
I joined the CHRN following my promotion to Head of HR and have certainly felt the benefit of being a member. Not only do we get access to a wide range of interesting speakers but we have the opportunity to network and learn from each other’s experience. I also find our private LinkedIn Group really useful and have posted several questions to get input and ideas from other members. I joined the Steering Group four years ago and have enjoyed being able to help shape the CHRN agenda based on what our members want from the network.
Having recently joined the Third Sector I was really keen to take advantage of the networking opportunities that the CHRN offers.  In reality it has proved to be far more useful than simply networking with peers, although that is clearly very valuable! The regular updates on hot topics and the LinkedIn group have been extremely helpful in dealing with practical issues that sometimes need a different perspective in the Third Sector. Shortly after joining the network I was delighted to join the Steering Group and to try to have some input into the Networks’ agenda for the year ahead and the work that we do with partner organisations.
I've gained a huge amount from membership of CHRN. It’s given me ready access to like-minded professionals and as someone heading an HR department for the first time, I’ve felt reassured by the support of other members and have learnt a lot from them. We cover a lot of varied, interesting topics and debates are always lively and interesting. Being part of the Steering Group has made me better at networking and gives me time and space to think about the bigger picture as like most of us, I get caught up in the day to day running of the department so there are definite benefits for Crisis as well as me personally.
I joined the network nearly 10 years ago. I was keen to make connections with other HR Directors in the sector as I had come from the commercial world. I didn't really know what to expect, however, I was bowled over by the supportive, collaborative approach of the people I met in the group along with the level of insight and debate. I also valued being able to contribute to determining the agenda for the year and having the opportunity to bounce ideas of colleagues outside of the meetings. I guess that's why I decided to get involved with the steering group 4 years ago to give something back and why I'm still a member nearly 10 years on!

Having worked in the third sector for a number of years, primarily in health and social care, I find that the diverse nature of the charities involved in the CHRN has enabled me to develop my thinking beyond health and social care and to stay in touch with clever thinking that extends to the wider third sector. The network meetings have informative, engaging presentations and speakers and are also an excellent place to network and share ideas with fellow HR professionals. Given the challenges we face the network is also a good place  to test possible solutions before committing organisational resources; it is always helpful to have the views and experiences of colleagues in similar organisations to compare and contrast with.

Join Us

Do you work in HR for a charity or voluntary organisation with national interests?
Are you the most senior HR professional within that organisation?

You do and you are? Then come and join us...

Join us now!

If you have queries about the network, membership fees or the support provided before joining, please contact the CHRN coordinator: 


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