Small Charities Coalition head resigns after charity says it cannot support his salary

Alex Swallow was told by the SCC that it could not continue to pay him £45,000 a year because of increasingly tight finances

Alex Swallow
Alex Swallow

Alex Swallow, chief executive of the Small Charities Coalition, has resigned because the organisation could not continue to support his £45,000 salary.

Swallow joined the SCC as chief executive in November 2012.

Richard Davidson, one of the trustees of the SCC, which is itself a charity and has more than 6,000 members, told Third Sector that its chair, Simon Hebditch, and another trustee spoke to Swallow two weeks ago to discuss the SCC’s increasingly tight finances. Swallow resigned last Thursday.

Talking about Swallow, Davidson said: "He has been great for the organisation and he has handled this very professionally."

The organisation’s income for the year to 31 May 2013 was £108,438. It spent £149,866 in the year. Income had dropped from £170,383 in 2012, and £189,563 in 2011.

"The Small Charities Coalition is like a lot of small charities in that finances have been getting tighter and tighter in recent months," said Davidson. "We’re still hopeful that we can get back on track."

The charity will not appoint a new chief executive, said Davidson. He said the organisation would be led by John Barrett, its operations manager, who has been involved with the SCC since its conception in 2007 and has been an employee since November 2008.

During Swallow’s tenure, the SCC carried out a rebrand after its March 2011 merger with Charity Trustee Networks.

Swallow said the development was not a complete surprise. "I'd looked at the cash flow and knew it wasn't an easy situation and I also wanted what was best for the charity, so we agreed that this was the best way," he said. "I loved the job and I'm proud of what I achieved."

Before joining the SCC, Swallow was a fundraising, development and communications officer for the National Benevolent Fund for the Aged. In 2011, he founded Young Charity Trustees, a charity supporting and encouraging young people into charity trustee roles.

He continues to be involved in YCT and has taken up a role as assistant editor and social media manager at Good News Shared, an online source of positive news, founded by his fiancée and which has its official launch tomorrow. He also said he might do some freelance work.

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