Every two years, the FSI produces our Small Charity Skills Survey report, examining the areas within the charity sector that are highly skilled, and those which are trailing behind. We use this to direct our programming and influence sector-wide conversations, ensuring that we continue to address the most pressing challenges facing small charities.
The report is only possible thanks to input from our members. Our next series of Small Charity Sector Skills Surveys 2018/19 are open now and we need as many small charities as possible to complete it.
As a thank you for taking part, we are offering individual cash prize draws for each survey you complete, with a bigger cash prize draw for those who complete all seven. You can find out more about the draws and eligibility criteria here.
What did the last survey tell us about Finance and IT?
Our last Small Charity Skills Survey 16/17 told us that skills gaps still present a major barrier for small and local charities and community organisations across the UK, with more training cited as a solution to the problem. Strategic use of IT was the second worst rated skills area out of the whole survey.
Similarly, the last Skills Survey informed us that, whilst just over two thirds of respondents felt confident in their basic IT skills, only 30% were confident in specialist IT skills. Of those responsible for IT in their small charity, 37% felt the greatest need for upskilling was in website development.
As for respondents overseeing the financial management of their organisation, 37% believed that fundraising was the area that required most development, closely followed by budgeting.
Now we need you to tell us how you feel your small charity is doing in these areas in 2018/19. We are looking forward to examining what this updated data will tell us about the trends and changes that have occurred over the last two years.
How does this work in practice?
Our last Small Charity Skills Survey 16/17 told us that skills gaps still present a major barrier for small and local charities and community organisations across the UK, with more training cited as a solution to the problem. However, one size does not fit all, and we were responsive to this information.
If the small charity sector is to be self-sustaining, investment in staff is needed to allow you to meet the demands of your community. Time is critical for small charity staff, so we adapted our learning offer to include online learning resources, alongside our traditional full day training courses and conferences.
We are looking forward to examining what the data from the 2018/19 Skills Survey Report will tell us about the trends and changes that have occurred over the last two years. This will ensure that our learning programme is as responsive and relevant to your needs as possible.
We also hope that outcomes will continue to influence government strategy for small charities, as well as giving you a tool to gain leverage in funding applications to support the development of your skills.
Ellie Lynch is a Project Officer for the Policy & Special Projects team at the FSI.