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Small Charities Coalition Helpdesk saved through FSI & NCVO partnership

Melanie May | 22 March 2022 | News

Small Charities Coalition logo

The FSI and NCVO have partnered to keep the Small Charities Coalition Helpdesk and some of its other services going when the SCC winds down from 31 March 2022.

The Small Charities Coalition announced its closure in December 2021 with trustees and staff coming together with infrastructure bodies and funders to work out how they could best support small charities going forward. Proposals and funding were brought together to allow the Helpdesk to transition to a new host organisation, and the production of an independent final evaluation report, released today, was commissioned.

The SCC Trustees invited organisations to pitch to take on hosting the Helpdesk with the FSI and NCVO joint proposal chosen as representing the best outcome.


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The SCC services and assets that will be transferred to the new FSI and NCVO partnership are:

More on the partnership

The new initiative builds on an existing partnership between FSI and NCVO delivering governance e-learning. The partnership will also enable the collection, analysis and share of data, insights and emerging trends for small charities, including through the Lloyd’s Bank Foundation’s Small Charity Data Hub.

FSI and NCVO will develop their collective small charity offer by building on the FSI’s Small Charity Week campaign, exploring the provision of a peer support and mentoring programme, creating new e-learning opportunities, and ensuring small charities have a voice to policy makers. 

Central to the new FSI and NCVO partnership will be the introduction of a small charities advisory group. The group will also have a role engaging other infrastructure partners and organisations in the small charity sector to help ensure the partnership delivers and develops further the support needed by small charities. Recruitment for this group will be through an open process and an interim Chair will be appointed to guide the early phases of the legacy work, with both announcements taking place soon.

Joyce Fraser, Chair at the Small Charities Coalition, commented: 

“We are delighted with today’s announcement and could have barely hoped for this when we announced SCC’s closure in December. We look forward to seeing the Helpdesk continue its invaluable work through the new partnership of FSI and NCVO. Critical in this handover is not just the continuation of a distinct small charities service, but continuation of its personalised approach and tone, cutting the jargon and demystifying the difficult.


“The new advisory group will ensure the ‘small charity voice’ can be leveraged rather than lost. It provides a great space and opportunity for improved all round support and representation of small charities across the infrastructure ecosystem. Our final evaluation report, published today, provides much of the agenda for our new Helpdesk hosts and the advisory panel. Our thanks go to Iona Lawrence for leading this project and to the very many who contributed to it.


“We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the infrastructure organisations and funders for their support and engagement in particular over the last few months. Today’s announcement would not have been possible without them.


“Finally, a huge thank you to all our members and small charities for being the driving force behind our work over the last 14 years; and a particular thank you to every single member of the SCC team over that time, staff, volunteers, mentors, trainers, advisors, and trustees. The work and the legacy would not have been possible without you.”

Sarah Vibert, CEO of NCVO, commented: 

“I know from running a small charity just how valuable the support provided by the Small Charities Coalition has been for smaller voluntary organisations, which make up the majority of our sector. I am delighted that alongside colleagues at the FSI and with the insight of a new small charities advisory group, NCVO will play a part in securing the legacy of the Small Charities Coalition. Together we will build on this legacy to ensure there is a distinct and comprehensive support offer for small charities, which evolves to meet changing needs.


“I am looking forward to welcoming [SCC’s] Amy Walton to our team and learning from her vast experience and knowledge supporting small charities. I’d also like to recognise and thank the trustees of the Small Charities Coalition for their dedication to ensuring continuity of support for their members and all the work they have done to facilitate a smooth transfer of services.”

Further announcements will be made via SCC’s website and mailing list over the coming weeks. Anyone with queries can contact the SCC Board of Trustees on bo***@sm************.uk.