CFG and the Small Charities Coalition launch report into financial management in small charities

23rd May 2013

The two umbrella organisations are also seeking input on what they and others could do to improve standards of financial management in small charities.

'Making it count - a report into financial management in small charities' for the first time takes a wide reaching look at financial management roles and practices in small charities, along with the challenges they face, and highlights key areas where additional support would be of most benefit.

Organisations with an annual income of under £1m make up 96% of all registered charities, but thus far there has been relatively little research into their financial management, and the significant impact this may have on a charity's effectiveness and sustainability.

The report, based on existing evidence, a survey of 323 small charities and interviews with experts, employees and trustees of small charities, provides a valuable resource for those working in and with small charities. It is also hoped that it will stimulate innovative and creative ideas for what could be done by CFG, the Small Charities Coalition and others to improve standards of financial management in small charities. The authors welcome feedback and thoughts following publication of the report, with the intention of making further recommendations in Small Charity Week 2013, 17-22 June.

CFG Chief Executive Caron Bradshaw said: "Many small charities rely heavily on the fantastic work done by staff, volunteers and trustees with a wide range of passions, skills, experiences and responsibilities, but often little financial expertise.

"We're excited to be looking at what we could do at CFG to support small charities more in this vital area. The financial health of an organisation is inextricably linked to its ability to achieve its objectives and be sustainable; we want to enable a broader range of individuals within charities and community groups to get to grips with the finances and to know how to ask the right questions.  We're keen to work in partnership with others and would be interested to hear views and ideas from other organisations working in this field."

Small Charities Coalition Chief Executive Alex Swallow said: 'With many small charities currently experiencing budget cuts and increased demand for their services, good financial management is now more important than ever. I hope that this report encourages other organisations and individuals to consider what they could do to support small charities, and we would encourage anyone interested to get in touch and share their thoughts.'

'Making it count - a report into financial management in small charities' is available to download from the CFG and Small Charities Coalition websites, and contributions should be sent to the CFG Policy team by Friday 7 June.

Ends

Notes:

1. 'Charities with an annual income of under £1m make up 96% of all registered charities' - Figure drawn from Charity Commission Register of Charities, correct as of 15 May 2013.

2. Charity Finance Group is the charity that champions best practice in finance management in the voluntary sector. Our training and development programmes enable finance managers to give the essential leadership on finance strategy and management that their charities need. With more than 2,200 members, managing over £18bn, we are uniquely placed to challenge regulation which threatens the effective use of charity funds.

3. The Small Charities Coalition is a support organisation for small charities. We work with trustees, staff and volunteers to help them find solutions to the challenges they face. Our vision is for trustees, staff and volunteers of all small charities to have the skills, knowledge and resources they need to achieve their aims and best serve their causes.

4. The report will be made publicly available on the CFG and SCC websites from 09:00 Thursday 23 May 2013. The report is based on a review of existing literature, a survey of 323 small charities, and interviews with 24 sector experts and 19 employees and trustees of small charities.

5. The report is kindly sponsored by Lloyds TSB

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