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Charity Community

Small Charity Week 2022 (20-24 June)

Author: Kristina Kopic, Head of Charity and Voluntary Sector, ICAEW

Published: 08 Jun 2022

Small Charity Week is an opportunity for small charities to connect and to celebrate their impact. This annual campaign celebrates the achievements and contributions of small charities to communities, encourages public giving, and aims to develop political engagement.

I highly recommend a look at the webinars, events, and resources on the Small Charity Week website.

But this year, we must start by acknowledging the loss of the Small Charities Coalition (SCC), which supported the staff and volunteers of small charities with free access to tools and information, until it wound down at the end of March due to funding challenges. Since then, the Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI) and NCVO have taken over SCC’s key services, including its helpdesk, to provide continued support for small charities, which SCC defined as having an income of under £1 million. Most of its member charities, however, were on the smaller end of the spectrum with income of below £100k.

SCC’s final evaluation report, Small and Mighty: A report on the life and legacy of the Small Charities Coalition, found that it wasn’t just the cost-free support that charities valued, but also the open, inclusive and non-judgemental approach they experienced from SCC time and again. The evaluation found that, as a small charity itself, SCC was facing similar funding challenges to many of the small charities it supported, which eventually led to the organisation’s closure.

I know that many of you are working with small charities, as advisors, independent examiners, finance leaders and in voluntary roles. Thanks to the feedback I receive from you, I know that you want us to provide content and guidance that is suitable for small charities, too. As SCC’s evaluation report testifies, small organisations often punch above their weight and let’s not forget that they make up 96% of all charities. While there is a lot to learn from the largest charities (who hasn’t looked at their annual reports for inspiration?), small charities can be more agile and foster closer relationships between employees (where they exist) and trustees. We are planning more support specific to small charities during 2022, and you can access our recent charity webinars free in the Community’s library of recordings.

Please let me know what other topics you would like us to cover to support you and small charities over the coming months and years (emails to kristina.kopic@icaew.com).

Volunteers’ Week

June, the ‘Month of Community’ is a busy time for celebrations in the charity calendar. We started the month with Volunteers’ Week, and I know that many of you hold voluntary roles too.

Our Volunteering Community marked the start of Volunteers’ Week with a message of thanks from our new ICAEW President, Julia Penny, and I would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to all the members of our Charity Community. Your contribution to the charity sector is immense, and we aim to support you in your voluntary roles as well as in your professional careers.

Our online trustee training is free of charge for everyone to equip you and your board colleagues with the knowledge and skills to be effective charity trustees. We hope that you have already added our training to your charity’s trustee induction and training plan.

Our website, ICAEW Volunteers, has been connecting charities with finance professionals for nearly a decade. I’m proud to say that each month, our members apply for hundreds of volunteering roles via ICAEW Volunteers, and I hope that you are inspired to browse the site for roles if you can offer support.

In this edition of the newsletter, you can read about the voluntary roles of two ICAEW members who both enjoy using their non-financial skills to improve lives. You can also learn about the sector’s new vision for volunteering, which draws on the lessons from the pandemic and challenges charities to become more volunteer-oriented over the next ten years.

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