Why your supporters are wealthier than you expect. Course details.

New initiative will help small charities better access free professional support

UK Pro Bono Association logo

An initiative to make it easier for small charities to access free professional support launches today, Friday 23 June, on the last day of Small Charity Week.

It is being launched by 19 organisations, which are all offering skilled volunteering, and are all members of the UK Pro Bono Association.

According to Pilotlight research, seven out of ten small and medium-sized charities say that they are actively looking for pro bono professional skills to support what they do, but only four out of ten find it.


Why your supporters are wealthier than you think... Course by Catherine Miles. Background photo of two sides of a terraced street of houses.

The new initiative aims to close this gap, through a mutual signposting and referral service between organisations offering pro bono and free support and services to help charities find the most appropriate help to answer their needs.

The members of the UK Pro Bono Association, which was founded by Cranfield Trust, Pilotlight and Reach Volunteering, are making a pledge that: “when charities or social enterprises come to any of us
needing pro bono support that we are not able to give or that others could give better, we take steps
to guide them to the support that they need.”

Research by Pilotlight suggests that together, pro bono providers have engaged professionals to
support 8,300 charities and social enterprises over the last year. For many, a shift prompted by the
pandemic has been from in-person volunteering to the opportunities of virtual volunteering.

Ed Mayo, CEO of Pilotlight, said:

“There is a wide array of support open to small charities, if they can find their way to it. This new
initiative should help, because if charities are in touch with any one provider, they have a supported
pathway to others. It will be like having a guide by your side, wherever you are in the forest.”

Amanda Tincknell CBE, Cranfield Trust CEO, added:

“This initiative will provide a much clearer and more accessible pathway for small charities who want and need vital support but don’t currently know what is available and how to find it. Members of the UK Pro Bono Association bring together thousands of volunteers to share their skills and knowledge free of charge, working alongside charity leaders. This initiative will help them find the right support.”

Altogether there are 19 founder members of the Pro Bono Association taking part so far. As well as Cranfield Trust, Pilotlight and Reach Volunteering, they include Charity Excellence Framework, DataKind UK, ICAEW, and Pro Bono Economics.