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Supporting Small Charities.

Small Charity Support is a registered CIO {Charitable Incorpoated Organisation, 1161963} set up to help the many "ordinary" volunteer trustees of small charities who are struggling to cope with unnecessarily complex and jargon-laden official guidelines and bureaucractic regulations which are mostly tailored more for the minority (<25%) of larger charities (annual income from £0.25M to £700M).

DirectorsMeeting3Larger charities can afford to have teams of paid professional administrators and advisors to run the charity, overseen by the Trustees.

SmallCharityTrusteesBy contrast, the day-to-day running of the majority (>75%) of small charities (annual income of less than £250,000) is done primarily by their trustees and other unpaid volunteers - perhaps supported by some part-time office assistants.

So Small Charity Support focuses exclusively on the needs of such small charities by:

  • leaving out material which is not relevant to small charities;
  • eliminating unnecessary jargon;
  • explaining how to run a charity in "everyday English";
  • showing how to manage small charity finances in a "common sense" way;
  • helping trustees to manage common day-to-day problems in small charities;
  • not charging commercial fees (in fact, most of the support is provided free).

 

Support for small charities is provided in the following ways ways.

 

Leaflets2Guidance Leaflets

Small Charity Support produces numerous (more than 40 at the last count) free-to-download-and-use guidance leaflets covering most of the issues encountered by the trustees of small charities.

The leaflets cover:

  • The roles & responsibilities of small charity trustees;
         (including the Chair & Treasurer)
  • Managing Trustees' (and other) meetings;
         (includng recording the minutes)
  • Programme/Business Planning;
  • Simple accounts for small charities;
         (including a downloadable spreadsheet)
  • Example Policies & Procedures;
  • Starting a Small Charity; 
         (including registration with the Charity Commission);
  • Quiz Scoreboard
         (not a leaflet - just a bit of fun !).

Click HERE to go to a list of all the leaflets which are currently available.

 

HelpLine

HelpLineSmall Charity Support understands that all charities are uniqueSo it recognises that Guidance Leaflets alone can't cover all the issues & problems that will arise.   Some issues will require "talking things through" to identify an appropriate solution.

Unfortunately Small Charity Support isn't able to provide an "any time" direct dial-in access" HelpLine.   But where its Guidance Leaflets are insufficient to assist with a particular issue, Small Charity Support can also provide support through direct 1-1 communication, eg. via:
e-mail(s)  email icon;       telephone call(s)  TelephoneCall;       Skype    Skype ClipArt

If, having looked through Small Charity Support's guidance leaflets you have been unable to find the help you need, you are welcome to contact us to see what further help we might be able to provide.

To request HelpLine support, send an e-mail to:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
with a brief outline of what help you are looking for.
All requests for HelpLine support are treated as confidential.
But DON'T include any personal details or comments which might be regarded as "confidential" or "sensitive".

 

Mentoring

ElephantInRoomSome of the problems encountered by small charities (and many other organisations) are wider that can be dealt with by a simple exchange of e-mails or telephone/Skype conversations.
They can be particularly difficult and worrying when the Trustees are unable to pin down exactly what the problem is.   Or worse, the "elephant in the room" problems where the Trustees find themselves unable to discuss the issue freely amongst themselves, or even refuse to admit that there is a problem.

In such situations some more extended support may be appropriate - Mentoring (or "Consultancy", as it is usually called in the commercial sector).
But don’t worry - despite the poor reputation of "consultancy" in some quarters, good mentoring/consultancy DOESN'T invariably mean someone coming with a load of clever, but totally impracticable, ideas and then walking off leaving you even more confused than you were before they started.

Meeting 3Good mentoring means someone with appropriate experience sitting down with one, or more, of your Trustees, talking through the issues with you and using his/her experience to help YOU find the best solutions - ie: solutions which work for YOU - to your problems.   Typically, this can involve several meetings over a period of several weeks or even months.

Small Charity Support’s Principal Trustee has many years of experience in mentoring in all kinds of situations, charity & public sector, national & international, which he can bring to your situation.

Although it is possible for a small charity to request mentoring support by direct e-mail (to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), in most cases mentoring support comes as an extension to HelpLine support.

 

Training

Small Charity Support can organise and run bespoke workshops,study days or courses on various areas of organisational management and development.

Small Charity Support recognises that many participants in training events already have considerable knowledge and experience of their own.   So we specialise in “learn and contribute” courses/workshops (sometimes known as the “adult learning model”) where participants work in teams and are encouraged to contribute/share the knowledge they already have (there’s nothing like sharing one’s knowledge with others to improve one’s own understanding) whilst learning new ideas from others under the expert guidance of the course leader.

For more information on the Adult Learning Model see websites like
     https://elearningindustry.com/the-adult-learning-theory-andragogy-of-malcolm-knowles
or just Google “Adult Learning Model".

To request Training support, send an e-mail to:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
with a brief outline of what help you are looking for.

 

Interim Trustee Support

All organisations, large & small, commercial or not-for-profit, have periods when they need “an extra pair of hands” to help them through.   They may have a big project on - like a major revision of their activities plan - or have a key person missing - on holiday, on sick leave, or left the organisation and a replacement not yet appointed.

In such situations Small Charity Support can help by providing short-term cover.   And because our Principal Trustee has considerable experience of such situations he can usually “pick up the reins” very quickly to help you through an otherwise difficult period.

But note that Interim Trustee Support is, by its very nature, only short term.   Such assignments are typically of just 3-6 months duration and never more than 9 months.   And because of their substantial nature, Interim Trustee Support cannot be requested directly - they only ever arise out of mentoring (or, occasionally, HelpLine) support which is already being provided by Small Charity Support.

 

"Doing what is says on the tin"

SaysOnTinLQ2Like all charities, small as well as large, Small Charity Support produces for the public record a Trustees' Annual Report of its activities and achievements in pursuit of its charitable objects.   Since Small Charity Support was registered as a CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation) they can be found and downloaded from the Charity Commission's public Register of Charities.   But, for convenience, the Annual Reports can also be downloaded by clicking on the links below.

FYE-2016        FYE-2017        FYE-2018       FYE-2019

 

What does it cost ?

The good news is that it generally costs very little.
That
’s because Small Charity Support is itself a small, not-for-profit charity run by volunteers.  

There are no expensive salaries or professional fees to pay - we only have to cover out-of-pocket expenses (eg: the cost of travel or printing
reports) and our core administration costs.
So you won’t be needing barrow-fulls of money.

And if you’re really short of cash (for example, if you’re a new charity or voluntary organisation that is just starting up, or an existing organisation that needs help because it has “fallen on hard times”) Small Charity Support may even be able to cover part of those out-of-pocket expenses itself.

So don’t worry.
We’ll always give you an estimate of what the out-of-pocket expenses are likely to be before you commit to anything.
And we’ll always give you plenty of warning if it looks as if that initial estimate might be exceeded.

PoorManIt might be feared that the fact that Small Charity Support's resources are low-cost or free automatically mean that they are of poor quality for those who can't afford better?
But only if you are a neo-liberal economist who believes that the cost of something is the only measure of its value !

 

What have other users said ?

Go to Users' Comments to see recent comments from other small charities which have used Small Charity Support's materials and services.

 

 

Feel you’d like some help ?.......
Why not contact us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
with a brief description of what you want help with?
All enquiries are handled in complete confidentiality
(but, obviously, don't include any sensistive/personal information in your enquiry).

There’s no obligation,
and we’ll be glad to see what we can do for you.

Donating

AdminSmall Charity Support doesn't charge for its services.
But, of course, if you felt that you wanted to contribute to the work of Small Charity Support we do invite users of our services who are happy with the help they have received to make an appropriate donation if they are able.  -  a bit like a tip for good service at a restaurant, really.

That allows us to keep our overheads covered and to help out those who really do need it.

Donating is safe and easy on-line through the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF):
     https://www.cafonline.org/system/charity-search-results
In the search box enter Small Charity Support's charity registration number, 1161963.
Check that the search finds Small Charity Support and then follow the on-line instructions from there.
AdminAnd if you are able to increase your donation by 25% without any cost to you by Gift Aid, then even better.

THANK YOU.