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New strategic partnership between NCVO and the FSI to support small charities

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations, the representative body for charities, and the Foundation for Social Improvement, a leading source of training for smaller charities, today announced the creation of a strategic partnership to promote each other’s training and support.

By working together, NCVO and the FSI hope to increase awareness among smaller charities of each other’s advice, support and training.

As part of the agreement, NCVO is extending its free membership threshold from £30,000 annual income to £50,000 for FSI members. Around 500 FSI members with an income between £30,000 and £50,000 will become newly eligible for free NCVO membership[1].

NCVO currently has over 16,000 members, with its membership having grown by nearly 4,000 members in the last five years.

The organisations have signed a memorandum of understanding which sees them commit to explore opportunities to have a shared voice on policy issues and to collaborate where appropriate on contracts.

Today also sees the FSI launch its first online course in fundraising strategy, with nine modules adapted from its popular face-to-face training, generously supported by the Garfield Weston Foundation. To mark the event, the FSI is giving away 100 bursary places for the course[2].

Richard Williams, director of enterprise and development at NCVO, said:

Our smaller charity members have told us that they want more support with funding. The FSI are renowned for their affordable fundraising training and this partnership will see us signpost them to that training.

We know our members expect umbrella bodies to work closely together and we agree that the sector is better when we collaborate. We’re putting that belief into practice with this partnership.

Pauline Broomhead, chief executive of FSI, said:

I’m delighted to be working more closely together, especially and most importantly because we believe that this will benefit smaller charities. Our areas of expertise complement one another and we both have the same ambitions for small charities.

Many new members are joining both FSI and NCVO every month and we want to find the most effective ways of supporting them at scale. Working together we can significantly enhance the options for small charities across the UK, making sure that our programmes are joined up and that we are signposting to each other’s resources.

Our online training is an important part of this. Very often charity leaders don’t have the time to take a few days out to come to training. By offering our popular fundraising strategy course online, we’re opening up access to high-quality training for even more charities.


[1] FSI members with an income under £50,000 will receive an email inviting them to join NCVO. Those with an income between £30,000 and £50,000 will receive a code which will waive their membership fee.

[2] Small charities with a turnover under £50k can apply for a free place by Friday 9 November or paid access will be available for all from Monday 12 November.

The FSI supports the UK’s vibrant small charity sector with free and heavily subsidised training, advocacy and support programmes aimed at building sustainability and knowledge-sharing. Charity members of the FSI have an annual turnover of under £1 million and membership is free.

NCVO champions the voluntary sector and volunteering. We connect, represent and support over 16,000 voluntary organisations, from the biggest household-name charities to the smallest community groups.

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