Forty per cent of small charities 'have difficulty filling vacancies'

Salaries are an issue and the job type they most struggle with is fundraisers, says poll by the Foundation for Social Improvement

Foundation for Social Improvement
Foundation for Social Improvement

More than four in 10 small charities find it difficult to find people with suitable skills to fill vacancies, according to research published yesterday by the Foundation for Social Improvement as part of its Small Charity Week.

The survey, which was completed by 317 small charity employees at organisations with annual voluntary incomes of up to £1.5m, found that more than 40 per cent said they found it difficult to find suitable staff for vacancies.

Asked to choose why it was difficult to fill vacancies, the most popular choice, with 47 per cent, was salary, followed by not having enough funds to advertise the role widely, with 43 per cent.

The job type that organisations found it hardest to recruit to was fundraising, cited by half of respondents – the highest proportion. This was followed by marketing and communications roles on 16 per cent.

At a Small Charity Week event in London last night, Pauline Broomhead, chief executive of the FSI, said there was often a belief in small charities that fundraisers could do everything.

"For small charities, the best bet is to find fundraisers with potential and who are a ‘fit’ for their charity, its cause and its beneficiaries," she said, "then train them."

The survey also found that lack of funding for training and development was the most popular reason chosen by respondents for having skills gaps in their organisations, with 72 per cent.

Last night the FSI also launched the Small Sector Charity Forum, a collaborative body that small charities can join to help them influence policy.

Broomhead said it would help to build a "meaningful engagement between the sector and policy-makers, and ensure that small charities are armed with the skills they need to lobby on behalf of their beneficiaries".

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