Umbrella groups make pre-Budget plea to Chancellor to back the sector

Navca, Locality and Institute of Fundraising urge George Osborne to support small charities in next week's financial announcements

George Osborne
George Osborne

Three umbrella bodies have written to the Chancellor, George Osborne, to urge him to back programmes for small charities in next week’s Budget.

The local infrastructure bodies Navca and Locality have called for a £150m fund to provide support in the 50 most deprived areas of England.

Separately, the Institute of Fundraising has called for continued support for its small charities programme, which provides training for fundraisers who work at organisations with annual incomes of £1m or less. 

Navca and Locality originally called for the creation of the £150m fund before last year’s Autumn Statement. The fund would provide £3m over three years to support local community organisations and social enterprises in each of the deprived areas.

A paper produced to support their recommendation says that, for the first time since the 1960s, there is currently no government fund to support these communities.

"The fund would boost growth by enabling local and neighbourhood community organisations and social enterprises to scale up their operations," the report says. "This would create jobs and generate profits to be reinvested locally. It would support the creation of community or neighbourhood bonds to encourage social investment.

"It is a low-cost way of injecting resources into wealth-creating social organisations in the most deprived communities and helping people who are furthest from the labour market."

The paper says that the early intervention work carried out by these organisations would save the Exchequer money in the long term.

The Institute of Fundraising’s letter calls for continued support for its small charities programme, which is in the second year of three and is funded with £500,000 from the Office for Civil Society.

The programme provides workshops, conferences and online courses to fundraisers in community-based organisations with annual incomes of less than £1m. It has worked with about 8,500 fundraisers so far.

In his letter to Osborne, Peter Lewis, chief executive of the IoF, says that the scheme had been a success and he hopes the government will continue it.

"Evidence shows that the programme has successfully supported small and local organisations at grass-roots level to diversify their fundraising activity and increase their sustainability," writes Lewis.

"Feedback about the programme has been excellent, with participants reporting that as a direct result they have been able to identify and realise new fundraising opportunities."

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