Small Charities Coalition to transfer helpline to the NCVO and FSI

The coalition announced in December that it planned to close because of a funding shortfall

The Small Charities Coalition is transferring some of its services to the NCVO and Foundation for Social Improvement, as part of the process leading to it winding down at the end of the month.

The SCC, which announced closure plans in December, said it had received six proposals to host and maintain services including its helpdesk and resource hub.

As part of the transfer of these services, one member of staff will move from the SCC to work at the NCVO.

The NCVO and FSI will also create a small charities advisory group, to make sure the views of small voluntary groups are “leveraged rather than lost” while services are handed over.

An NCVO spokesperson told Third Sector that no money changed hands in the transfer, and that the umbrella body was involved in “ongoing discussions” with funders about backing the services.

When it invited organisations to take over the services, the SCC cautioned that funding for the work “will be limited so any potential new host should think about its own ability to fund and support this going forward”.

Sarah Vibert, chief executive of the NCVO, said the partnership would allow her organisation to “play a part in securing the legacy of the SCC”.

She said: “Together we will build on this legacy to ensure there is a distinct and comprehensive support offer for small charities, which evolves to meet changing needs.”

She thanked SCC’s trustees for organising “a smooth transfer of services”.

Stuart Thomason, chief executive of the FSI, said: “The FSI has provided a free advice hub for small charities for over 15 years, and we are pleased to expand this offer alongside the NCVO. We will continue to offer free and heavily subsided capacity-building support for people building impactful organisations.”

The SCC also published a report looking at the legacy it will leave when it closes.

The report says: “Without SCC, there will be no dedicated and trusted small charity support organisation with a seat at key decision-making tables to influence funding and policy for small charities.”

The SCC said there needed to be a “mindset shift” in civil society to recognise the value of infrastructure bodies working with small charities.

It said in a statement: “There are no easy answers for how to remedy the very real fundraising challenges SCC faced in any future small charity infrastructure efforts.

“Ultimately a mindset shift is required whereby funders, the regulator and the government view infrastructure as a ‘public good’ and therefore dedicate long-term investment to it in order to deliver a healthy, diverse and thriving small charity sector as a foundational part of a dynamic civil society.”

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