The government has spent no money on Local Charities Day in the last two years and has carried out no “formal assessment” of how successful the initiative has been.
Local Charities Day is a campaign organised by the Office for Civil Society, part of the Department for Culture Media and Sport, to raise awareness of issues being faced by local charities. It has taken place on a Friday in mid-December for the last three years.
During the build-up to the day, charities, umbrella bodies and the media are encouraged to back the campaign.
In response to a freedom of information request, the government department said that it spent £4,676 in 2016, the day's first year. £3,500 was associated with a reception at No.10 and £1,176 on branding.
Since then, it said it has not spent any money on the initiative.
The department has also not carried out any formal assessment of how effective the campaign has been.
“The day aims to raise awareness of the work of local charities, and is run predominantly through social media, therefore the department does not hold any formal assessment of the success of the day,” the response explained.
The OCS did point out a number of “campaign highlights”, which include that during last December's campaign, “people pledged 2,838 hours of volunteering time”.
It also said that 1,525 charities have registered on the interactive Local Charities Day Map. There are more 168,000 charities registered in England and Wales with the Charity Commission, the vast majority of which are small, local organisations.
The response also said: “In 2016, 182 organisations received 1,702 one-time donations from 571 donors, raising a total of £22,766 on the day.” But it did not give details for any donations for 2017 and 2018.