The business acumen simulation for charities and not-for-profits

Foundation Challenge
the unique business acumen simulation for
not-for-profits and charities











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FOUNDATION CHALLENGE addresses the issues facing the management of non-profit organisations such as charities, universities, schools & colleges etc. Learners are faced with having to obtain and distribute funds so as to provide the greatest benefit. This will involve them funding and resourcing several initiatives that benefit several groups of people.

The foundation's purpose is to support and encourage the entrepreneurial, wealth creation sections of the economy through supporting and managing several initiatives. These are encouraging pupils to take up a career in industry, encouraging minorities to start their own business, providing training and consultancy support for small businesses and, possibly, providing incubator units for business start-ups.

This simulation is one of a range of business acumen simulations exploring the issues facing manufacturing, service, retail, distribution, banking, training, professional services and not-for-profit industries.


Key Learning




Ways of Use


KEY LEARNING: The simulation covers these issues:

AVAILABILITY: This business simulation is designed to be used by your trainers.

Learn more about running a business simulation yourself.

DURATION: Approximately one day (although they can be run, in an accelerated manner, in half a day).

TARGET AUDIENCE: The simulation is designed to be used by middle management through senior management.

METHOD: After a short briefing the training group is divided into several teams of four or five participants. These teams consider the problem facing them and then make a series of decisions that are fed, by the tutor, into a microcomputer that simulates their effect. The results are returned for the team to analyse before making their next decisions. This decision-making cycle is repeated for at least six periods. At the end of the simulation phase the teams reunite to discuss and compare results.

NUMBER OF TEAMS: The simulation may be used with any number of teams.

HARDWARE REQUIREMENTS: Ideally a single PC and printer for each teams (of four or five participants). But, if necessary two or three teams can share a single computer with printer.

The simulation uses an advanced simulator that supports tutoring, provides for ease of use and will run on all Windows operating systems from Windows 98 thorough Windows 8.



The simulation involves running a complete not-for-profit organisation with decisions covering marketing the foundation to its beneficiaries and to sources of funds (corporate sponsorship and government), resourcing the initiatives (in terms of advisers and administration) and considering the implications of extending the range of initiatives to include constructing incubator units for business startups.


During the simulation, participants will be concerned with creating an organisation that supports and encourages entrepreneurial activity (the foundation's aims) and must decide how this can be measured. They will develop an understanding of purpose, how this is influenced by the decisions and how the objectives and measures interact.

Your learners without management experience may be especially challenged by the need to deal with ambiguity and make decisions without perfect information and, where, some information is provided as qualitative comments about the business.


The simulation introduces your learners to financial fundamentals (costing, income statement, cash flow and financial measures of effectiveness and efficiency) and the management of financial resources (the foundation's endowment and the flows of funds from the corporate sector, the government and, possibly, from the beneficiaries. (The Classic version of the simulation allows for teams to decide to construct incubator units and receive rental income from these. The Progressive and Compleat version of the simulation allows the your learners to make a charge for the other initiatives.

Optionally, using the work sheets provided, your learners can test their understanding by, manually, preparing the financial reports.


Reflecting the fact that the Foundation must obtain a steam of outside funds and to fulfill its purpose make sure that beneficiaries are aware of the Foundation and it initiatives, the your learners must expend effort to market the Foundation.

Optionally, using the tutor's audit, the trainer running the simulation can provide market research to help teams identify the responses of the markets to their decisions.


Although only providing four types of initiatives (school conferences, minority events, training courses and business consultancy), each of these differ in terms of type of beneficiary, the numbers who might benefit and costs and resourcing needs. Thus your learners must decide and monitor continuously how these contribute to purpose.


With decisions covering changing hiring and firing staff (marketing, advisers and administration staff) your learners must forecast needs and match this to staff levels. This must take into account the uncertainties of the impact of marketing effort, actions of beneficiaries and the dynamics of changing needs. Additionally, your learners must handle staff turnover and, in the case of the advisers (the people who deliver the initiatives), morale.


With your learners working in small teams, they have the opportunity to share experience and knowledge, present and promote different viewpoints, and develop their people skills.


Optionally, at the end of the simulation, teams can be asked for make a formal presentation for the Foundation's board covering objectives, strategies, process, the future (of the simulated foundation) and learning.


This simulation is available for company training on a per course rental basis (rather than on a per participant basis) and for academic (university) and school use on a per course and an annual unlimited use basis. For you convenience you can pay in pounds sterling (), US Dollars () or Euros.

Learn more about the rental process

Training Type


Company Training




Academic (single course)




Academic (annual use)




Charity (single course)





  1. Single company training course is up to 6 teams (30 participants). Beyond that for each group of 30 a copy of the business simulation must be rented.

  2. Rentals in the UK and the European Union will incur VAT (Value Added Tax) at 20%. For the rest of the world VAT is not charged.

  3. Company Training and Registered Charity use is invoiced after successful use. Academic use is invoiced before use.


This business simulation can be used:


Documentation is provided separately for the UK and US Versions MS Word format and comprises:

A Participants' Manual that provides, for the your learners. a description of the simulation, a description of their task and how to use the software.

The Background Notes describe the simulation for the trainer. (Please contact us to receive a copy of these).

The Decision Forms are the forms used to communicate a team's decisions to the trainer.

Using the Simulator provides, for the trainer (and computer support staff), information about installing the simulation and the use of the software.

Running the Simulation provides, for the trainer, information about running the simulation.

Briefing is a MS Power Point briefing explaining the simulation to the your learners. (You may find it useful if you review this before reading the briefs.)

UK Versions US Versions
Participants' Manual Documentaion size 122k bytes Documentaion size 122k bytes
Decision Forms Download size 22k bytes Download size 22k bytes
Using the Simulator Document Size 46k bytes Document Size 46k bytes
Running the Simulation Download 98k Bytes Download 98k Bytes
Briefing Download 38k Bytes Download 38k Bytes


This is provided to allow you to download an evaluation version of the simulation.

The table below shows the files to download, their description and size. You should copy them to a folder, a USB Flash Drive or even to floppy discs! Run setup.exe. The program will then install.

If, instead of installing from the Web, you are installing from the CD-ROM version of this resource you can install directly by clicking setup.exe and opening the file.

Note: When downloading the setup.lst file you must right click and then select Save As. (If you left click the file will open - this is a feature of Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.)

File Description Size
setup.exe Installation Program 137 Kbytes
Setup.lst Installation Data 5 Kbytes Simulator Files 2,342 Kbytes

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2001 & 2011 Jeremy J. S. B. Hall

Most recent update: 03/09/15
Hall Marketing, Studio 11, Colman's Wharf, 45 Morris Road, London E14 6PA, ENGLAND
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