Small charities coalition has big ideas

A new forum for small charities could recruit 5,000 members in its first year, according to its founder.

The Small Charities Coalition, founded by Male Cancer Campaign CEO Patrick Cox, has its first two meetings arranged for late July to "define and inspire" a mission and objectives for the group.

Cox told Third Sector Online that he has been very encouraged by the response he has received so far. "We've found that this is actually needed," said Cox. "Because it's free, there is no reason why we shouldn't have 5,000 members in the first year."

He added: "We need to tell the public how great small charities are and that we desperately need support."

Cox decided to start a coalition after being frustrated at the lack of help on offer for small charities. "There was no support mechanism for me; not because of my core ability, but because of my size," he said. The constant rejection was more than he could take. "Year after year we saw nothing."

The first debate will be held on 23 July in London, but another will be held the following day in Liverpool to appeal to more Northern organisations. Cox thinks it is vital to include charities from across the UK. "One e-mail I thought was very important read ‘we'd be very interested, especially in the event in the north. If you live/work north of the M25, your views are often not required'," he said.

The coalition looks to raise £5 million from the government and UK businesses in addition to acquiring grants.

Qualifying charities will be registered in the UK, have an income less than £1 million and have no employee paid more than £50,000.

Interested charities can look visit the coalition's website, www.SmallIsBest.com, or email Patrick Cox at admin@MaleCancer.net.

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