Charity finance policy

Charity Finance Group launches programme to help improve small charities’ finances

The Small Charities Programme is being supported by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

The programme will deliver subsidised training for small charities, develop and collect resources to help small charities manage their finances and support the work of Community Accountants.

The programme launches in January 2017 and will run to August 2017.

Charity Finance Group (CFG) has today launched its Small Charities Programme for England and Wales - supported by a grant of £135,000 by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation - at Hays Recruitment, London.

Small Charities Coalition and NAVCA will be partnering CFG to support the delivery of the programme.

The Small Charities Programme aims to improve the financial capability of small charities across the country by delivering subsidised training on a range of charity finance topics from managing budgets to how to manage tax. In total, six half day modules on charity finance will be delivered across England and Wales, with the aim of providing 1,000 places for charities with an income of under £1m. Fees from the training will be used to fund a travel bursary programme to help small charities attend the training.

The Small Charities Programme website ( is now live, offering , small charities the opportunity to book onto some of the trainings which start in January 2017. Further dates will be added over the coming weeks.

The new website will also collect and signpost to a range of helpful tools and resources for small charities, and the programme will be developing and delivering new resources to help charities with their finances.

In addition to providing direct support for small charities, the programme will support community accounting services. These are accounting services directed at community organisations (such as charities) which are often delivered by non-profit organisations or local councils for voluntary service. Many small charities depend on community accountants to meet their legal obligations and get financial advice.

CFG will be convening a number of roundtables to discuss how these local services which have suffered following cuts in funding from local councils, can be supported.. The programme will also feature advice and surgeries for community accountants on how to improve their services.

Nick Faraday, Small Charities Programme Manager, said:

“This is an exciting opportunity to help small charities, the lifeblood of our sector, and comes at a much needed time. Small charities are grappling with significant financial challenges due to a combination of increased demand and funding pressures. However, they often can’t afford to get access to financial training and support. They can also find it difficult to access the resources that they need to manage their finances effectively.

Our hope is that this programme will boost the financial capabilities of small charities and enable them to manage change.”

Caroline Mason, CEO, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, said:

“As a funder, we see the impact of financial management - good and bad - on charities' impact every day. We think financial skills may be vital to increasing that impact, so we are excited to support Charity Finance Group’s first Small Charities Programme to give small, under-resourced organisations the chance to gain the skills, knowledge and tools to build their financial capabilities.”

The programme will run to the end of August 2017, with an evaluation to be published after its completion.

Notes to editors:

  • Charity Finance Group was set up in 1987 to promote financial best practice in the charity sector, it has nearly 1,400 members managing over £21bn in charitable income.
  • Esmée FairbairnFoundation was founded in1961 and is one of the largest independent grant making foundations in England, making grants to organisations which aim to improve the quality of life for people and communities in the UK, both now and in the future.
  • Please contact Andrew O’Brien, Head of Policy and Engagement, Charity Finance Group for more information (andrew.o’ or 0207 871 5477
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