Charity leaders asked for views after SCC and FSI closures leave ‘massive hole’

06 Jun 2023 News

Amanda Tincknell, chief executive, Cranfield Trust

Cranfield Trust

Leaders of small and medium-sized charities have been urged to shared their views on the sector’s management training capacity.

Cranfield Trust’s research project follows the recent closures of sector infrastructure bodies the Small Charities Coalition (SCC) and the Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI).

Amanda Tincknell, chief executive of the Cranfield Trust, said SCC and FSI had been “fantastic providers of training and support” for smaller charities and that they had left “a massive hole in the sector”.

Speaking to Civil Society, she said organisations such as hers remained needed to “work together and see what we can do to fill those very big gaps”.

Researchers have started by mapping current training provision in the sector and now voluntary sector leaders and managers have until 3 July to respond to Cranfield Trust’s survey.

‘It’s all about unrestricted funding’

Tincknell said she understood the pressures many charities are facing during the cost-of-living crisis but urged leaders to share their views.

“I’m conscious that everybody’s kind of surveyed out, and this isn’t going to be top of people’s priorities when they get up in the morning,” she said.

“But it is important because things are changing fast. And in order to have the sort of skills we all need to manage in difficult times, we have to make sure that we are investing in our colleagues.”

Tincknell said many smaller charities lacked capacity to invest in external training.

Asked what more statutory bodies could do to support smaller charities’ ability to invest in management training, she said unrestricted funding was important.

“It’s all about unrestricted funding,” she said.

“Whether you’ve got government funding or other funding, giving unrestricted funding so that people can do what they need to do and creating that relationship of trust, so that you can trust people to know what they most need, I think that's really important and would help people to allocate some resources, even a small amount of resource to thinking about skills and skills development.”

Cranfield Trust’s project is being undertaken alongside social research consultant Matilda Gosling and is being supported by a grant from the Masonic Charitable Foundation.

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