Small charities failing to protect themselves against cyber crime

Press release | September 2017

Small charities failing to protect themselves against cyber crime

New research from the Foundation for Social Improvement’s (FSI) Small Charity Index reveals more than a third (35%) of small charities are concerned about the security of their organisation’s IT but 49% do not have plans in place to improve the security.

63% of small charities include IT security and data protection on its organisational risk register yet only 20% have carried out cyber security or information awareness raising activities for staff or volunteers.

Pauline Broomhead CBE, CEO of the FSI said,

With small charities facing the twinned pressures of meeting an increasing demand for services and workload challenges, cyber security can be neglected as a low priority. However, at a time when small to medium sized organisations face a 1 in 2 chance that they might experience a cyber-security breach, this can have a huge impact on small charities.

We are calling on small charities to take action by accessing the support and guidance to enable them to take practical steps to ensure the security of their charities. That is why we are providing free online resources that any small charity can use, as well as running a workshop on the topic.”

A “Fraud and cyber crime – what to look out for” session is available at the FSI’s heavily subsidised Skills Conference on March 1st. Free information, including a summary of low cost and simple techniques that can improve cyber security within your organisation, can be found on the resources pages of the FSI website.

The full Small Charity Index report is available to download via the FSI’s website:



For additional information or interview requests please contact – Olivia Lam 020 7324 4653

The FSI, Charity Number 1123384, 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 £1.5 million and membership is free.

The latest Small Charity Index report published today is a quarterly survey of the UK’s small charity leaders and trustees, which analyses trends in income, service delivery, workforce and governance.

The data gathering and analysis of trends is carried out by the FSI through its membership of over 5,600 distinct small charities with a turnover under £1.5 million.

Total organisations surveyed June 2013 – August 2017 – 1,294

Total organisations surveyed September – November 2017 – 347

Four years of Small Charity Index trends data key statistics:

Between June 2013 and November 2017:

  • Total increase for demand for services was 123%
  • Voluntary income increased by 2%
  • Statutory income decreased by 11%
  • Earned income increased by 11%
  • Use of reserves increased by 73%