Frequently asked questions

Click on the questions below to jump to the answer

FSI Membership

1. Am I eligible for free FSI membership?

2. What do I need to register as a member of the FSI?

3. How do I join your membership if I meet your criteria?

4. I’m a small charity but part of a larger charity – parent charity or an umbrella charity. I use their registration number – can I still be a member?
5. I’m a charity with an annual turnover of over £1 million but this is an unusual figure – our income is usually lower than this. Can I still be a free member?

6. What support does the FSI provide?

FSI Events/Bookings

7. Will the Covid-19 coronavirus affect my event booking?

8. How do I use the FSI Learner Portal?

9. Can you book me onto an FSI event over the phone?

10. How can I amend a booking?

11. Do I need to be registered to PayPal to make a booking?

12. How many people from my charity can attend an FSI event, and how do I make multiple bookings?

13. I am a volunteer – can I still attend FSI events?

14. Do I need to pay a deposit for my training course/conference place/webinar?

15. Can I obtain a receipt/invoice for my booking?

16. What if I am unable to pay online?

17. What information will I receive before my training course?

18. Where do I find the Surveys?

19. Will lunch and refreshments be provided?

20. I am unable to attend for the full duration of the training course. Am I able to attend for a part of it?

21. I need to cancel my booking. Can I get my deposit back?

22. Can I access training resources after my course attendance?

23. Which learning opportunity is best for me?

24. I have accessibility requirements – how do I let you know?

25. How does the Advice Hub work?

1. Am I eligible for free FSI membership?

You are eligible for free FSI Small Charity membership if you are a charity, community interest company (CIC) or community organisation with an annual turnover of less than £1 million.

You will require one of the following:

  • A UK charity registration or Community Interest Company (CIC) number

  • An HMRC exemption number/Gift Aid reference number

 

Alternatively, we will consider applications from organisations that can demonstrate:

  • That they are recognised by/registered by a UK governing body, for example you hold a Community Amateur Sports Club registration number (CASC) issued by HMRC or

  • Have in place a small charity constitution, governing documents and equivalent board of trustees.

You will be required to provide a copy of registration and/or charity constitution, on receipt and review of which we will confirm membership.

 

If your turnover is between £1 million and £5 million, you can join our Associate Membership scheme which gives access to our training, conferences and advice clinics for £275 + VAT per year (or £225 + VAT for charities with a turnover of £1 million-£1.5 million).

 

For larger charities, we offer bespoke training and consultancy packages

If you are a mission-based organisation wholly owned by a charity, please contact the Membership Team on 0207 324 4777.

 

2. What do I need to register as a member of the FSI?

As a small charity ourselves we do not have capacity to undertake due diligence on all our charity members. We therefore rely on the Charity Commission and HMRC systems to verify that charities are eligible for our support. To join the FSI you must have one of the following:

  • A UK charity registration number

  • An HMRC exemption number

 

Alternatively, we will consider applications from organisations that can demonstrate:

  • That they are recognised by/registered by a UK governing body, for example you hold a Community Amateur Sports Club registration number (CASC) issued by HMRC or

  • Have in place a small charity constitution, governing documents and equivalent board of trustees.

You will be required to provide a copy of registration and or charity constitution, on receipt and review of which we will confirm membership.

 

3. How do I join your membership if I meet your criteria?

It’s really easy to sign up online through our Learning Management System; it shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes: click here.

We do ask for quite detailed information on registration – this is so that we can better understand the profile of our members. As a membership body we provide a lot of input and representation into the small charity sector so it is important we have accurate records to understand our membership.

In order to access our services, you will need to complete the registration form which should take no more than 5 minutes, you will only need to sign up once, you can then log in each time to book an event or access another FSI service.

Please note: it can take up to 10 working days to confirm your membership.

 

4. I’m a small charity but part of a larger charity – parent charity or an umbrella charity.  I use their registration number – can I still be a member?

No – unfortunately you can only join as a small charity member under your own charity number. If you are part of a larger charity, we will use their annual turnover to assess if you are eligible. The larger charity can take Associate Membership if eligible which will give you access to our courses, conferences and advice clinics. We can also deliver bespoke training packages or consultancy for larger charities.

If you are part of a larger charity but have autonomous income and expenditure with your own constitution and financial accounts, please contact the membership team on 0207 3244 777

 

5. I’m a charity with an annual turnover of over £1 million but this is an unusual figure – our income is usually lower than this. Can I still be a free member?

No – we have to apply our criteria consistently which means we use the figure available on the Charity Commission. If your annual turnover has gone over £1m you can join our Associate Membership scheme which gives access to our training, conferences and advice clinics for £275 + VAT per year (or £225 + VAT for charities with a turnover of £1 million – £1.5 million). If you drop below £1m the following year, you will be able to convert back to our free membership.

 

6. I’m a charity with an annual turnover of over £1 million but this is an unusual figure – our income is usually lower than this. Can I still be a free member?

The FSI run an extensive Learning Programme of heavily subsidised training and conference events around the country, as well as online training provision – including interactive webinars and e-Learning courses – plus our free charity Advice Hub, where you can access remote support on particular challenges your charity might be facing. We also produce research and undertake representation activities to amplify the voice of the small charity sector, and produce a member newsletter and policy newsletter each month, to keep our members informed of sector updates and opportunities.

 

For bespoke training and support, you can get in touch on development@thefsi.org.

 

Please note, the FSI do not provide grants or other monetary support.

 

7.Will the Covid-19 coronavirus affect my event booking?

The FSI’s policies on the current global Covid-19 outbreak are guided by official advice from the Government and NHS. Guidance for charities is available via NCVO and the Small Charities Coalition.

For face-to-face event bookings, our normal cancellation policy continues to apply – except in cases where self-isolation has been formally advised by a health professional for the booked attendee, or where self-isolation is required as per government policy for the booked attendee and evidence is provided in the form of written confirmation from the organisation’s CEO equivalent or Chair of Trustees. We will communicate with affected attendees on a case by case basis via admin@thefsi.org.

If FSI events face cancellation as a result of the outbreak, we will notify you immediately via email and will be able to offer alternative options.

 

8. How do I use the FSI Learner Portal?

For help making a booking, please view our short but comprehensive Learner Portal Booking Guide. A handy guide to using our learner portal more broadly can also be accessed here. 

 

This includes how to book onto learning opportunities and how to access pre- and post-course materials (documentation).

 

9. Can you book me onto an FSI event over the phone?

All of the bookings for our events are processed on our website.

Our annual programme of training events can be seen and booked here. We are a small charity ourselves and don’t have the capacity to provide phone-based registration support.

 

10. How can I amend a booking?

To change the delegate booked onto a course/event, fill out our Delegate Change Request form. To keep the same delegate but change the course/event they are attending, fill out our Course/Event Change Request form.

Where change requests are urgent (less than 5 working days prior to the learning event), please send an additional note to admin@thefsi.org confirming that the below form has been completed and requires urgent attention.

 

11. Do I need to be registered to PayPal to make a booking?

No – we use PayPal as a gateway to process online card payments and there is no requirement to be a PayPal member. Once you have been directed to the PayPal payment page at the end of the booking process, there will typically be a grey box further down the screen giving the option to pay using credit or debit card.

Exceptions to this are:
Where you have signed up to ‘PayPal One touch’ – your device may automatically pay via your account. If you do not wish to use your One touch PayPal account, please contact PayPal (https://www.paypal.com/gb/selfhelp/contact/call).

Where your device has ‘cookies’ that remembers a PayPal account being used previously. If you don’t wish to use the PayPal account in question, we recommend returning to your learning portal, clearing your cookies and retrying. If you continue to encounter problems, please contact PayPal (https://www.paypal.com/gb/selfhelp/contact/call).

If you would like to check that a booking has been made, please email admin@thefsi.org providing your full name, organisation name, course, date and location.

 

12. How many people from my charity can attend an FSI event, and how do I make multiple bookings?

Providing delegates attend different training courses, we allow the following number of places per organisation at each event:

   

   1 day training event – four attendees per organisation
   2 day training event – six attendees per organisation
   3 day training event – eight attendees per organisation

Please note that two half day trustee courses would count as one allocated space.

Please note – we only allow two people from an organisation to attend the same training course. If you select more than 2 tickets per course, all of your places will be cancelled and your deposit returned minus an administration fee.

If you wish to make multiple bookings or are booking on behalf of someone else and are encountering difficulties, please view our short learner portal booking guide.

We hope that attendees disseminate the learning into their organisations after the course, therefore multiplying the effect of the training.

 

13. I am a volunteer or intern – can I still attend FSI events?

Members with an annual turnover of less than £150,000 per annum (and no more than a total of 2 FTE paid staff or equivalent) can send volunteers to our training courses. Members with an annual turnover of less than £250,000 per annum but are 100% volunteer led can also send a volunteer.

COVID OFFER FOR COMMUNITY & EVENTS FUNDRAISING ONLY - Members with an annual turnover of less than £250,000 per annum (and no more than a total of 2 FTE paid staff or equivalent) can send volunteers to our training courses. Members with an annual turnover of less than £500,000 per annum but are 100% volunteer led can also send a volunteer.

Paid interns (over and above expenses) are eligible to access our services. If an unpaid intern wishes to access our services, please contact admin@thefsi.org or ring the Membership team on 020 8142 5147.

 

14. Do I need to pay a deposit for my training course/conference place/webinar?

Yes. During the booking process you will be required to pay a deposit to secure your place on full and half day courses, conferences, workshops and 90/60-minute webinars, as well as Small Charity Week events. The majority of this deposit will be refunded to the account used to pay ten working days after your attendance and completion of our surveys. Retained fees contribute to deposit and refund processing and administration costs. See below for details on deposit and refund amounts. Please note that e-Learnings are excluded from the deposit system, and are priced according to charity size, as per the structure below.

COVID-19 CHANGES - PLEASE NOTE Full and Half Day Webinar deposits are based upon Non-London fees.

*Full attendance is regarded as attending for the full duration of the event. Significantly late arrivals or early departures may result in the full deposit amount being retained.

E-learning Prices

Please note that if you have made a booking but are not eligible under our membership criteria, your booking will be cancelled and your deposit will be returned minus an administration fee

 

15. Can I obtain a receipt/invoice for my booking?

The FSI does not issue invoices for the deposits for training courses. The deposit scheme is in place to gain commitment of attendance to our courses. The majority of the deposit is returned upon full attendance. Our training activity is part of our services to our beneficiaries as a foundation, and is also exempt for Tax – hence VAT receipts are not issued.

When booking a confirmation email is provided showing the amount spent and the card used, to secure a place on the FSI training.

 

16. What if I am unable to pay online?

As a small team, we would request that you make every effort to book via the online portal, as this will speed up the process especially for your refunds. Our accountant only works one day per month so it could take up to 6 weeks after attending the course and completion of surveys for your payment to be refunded. Please contact the FSI if you are unable to pay via the portal on admin@thefsi.org.

 

17. What information will I receive before my training course?

After completing your booking through the website, you will receive an email confirmation including key course information (NB it maybe worth checking your junk mail box for this). Approximately two weeks prior to your training you will receive an email reminder, which includes the link to the pre-course survey that should be completed prior to attendance.

 
 

18. Where do I find the surveys?

You are emailed the pre-course survey before the event and also sent some reminders. If you have already completed the pre-course survey and receive a reminder email, please ignore it.

You are emailed your post-course survey once we have processed attendance for the event. Again, you will receive a reminder email for this. If you have already completed the survey, ignore the reminder.

 

You can also access your Surveys on the Learner Portal:

  1. Login to your learner portal through your user account, linked with this email address.

  2. On your portal homepage, click on 'My Evaluations'.

  3. Your surveys will appear here. If they have not been completed, they will say 'Submit'. If they have been completed, they will say 'Review'.
    And....

In order to receive your refund, you will need to have full attendance and completed both your pre and post course surveys. Full attendance is regarded as attending for the full duration of the event. Significantly late arrivals or early departures may result in the full deposit amount being retained. 
 

19. Will lunch and refreshments be provided?

Yes. We provide refreshments on arrival and during the mid-morning and mid-afternoon breaks. A light lunch is also provided at full and half day training events and usually consists of four sandwich quarters, crisps and a piece of fresh fruit per person. Catering varies depending on the venue, however we will provide meat and vegetarian options.

 

20. I am unable to attend for the full duration of the training course. Am I able to attend for a part of it?

No. If you are not able to commit to the entire duration of the course, please consider an alternative course date when you have full availability. Our cancellation policy states that if you arrive late or leave early, you will forfeit the right to your deposit.

 

21. I need to cancel my booking. Can I get my deposit back?

Providing you notify us more than five clear working days before the course date, you will be eligible for a refund of your deposit minus an administration fee (see table below for retained amounts). If you have to cancel within five working days of the course date and you have a genuine, documented reason for your non-attendance, please email or write to us within two weeks of the course date, explaining the reason and providing any supporting documentation. We will consider your request and respond to you via email.

 

22. Can I access training resources after my course attendance?

Yes. Following your attendance at one of our events, you will be given access to the resources used during your training – this can be found in the ‘my resources’ section of your learner portal.

 

Further resources can be found within the General Resources section of the FSI website.

 

23. Which learning opportunity is best for me?

Details of all of our learning opportunities are available in the Services section of our website.

 

24. I have accessibility requirements – how do I let you know?

When you register for an event through our Learning Management System as a new user, you will be presented with optional fields where you can include your accessibility or dietary requirements. We will then use this information to ensure we can accommodate you at our event (we will contact you directly if we require more information).

If you wish to review the accessibility or dietary information you have previously provided, please contact us at admin@thefsi.org.

 

25. How does the Advice Hub work?

The FSI do not provide professional advice, including direct/indirect financial, investment, or legal advice, but we may be able to signpost you to a qualified professional for a call of up to an hour, or else provide a document review as part of our free Hub service. To submit a query, check out our page here.

 

The Foundation for Social Improvement. 68 Lombard Street. London.EC3V 9LJ

UK Charity Registration Number: 1123384

©2020 The Foundation for Social Improvement. All rights reserved.

(+44) 20 8142 5147

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