Rita Chadha will be stepping down as chief executive of the Small Charities Coalition (SCC) in September.
Chadha announced her decision in an email to SCC members on Friday, and said that she planned to “return to a more frontline campaigning role” in the sector.
She has been in charge of the organisation since 2019, and has previously run charities including the Migrants Rights Network and Refugee and Migrant Forum of Essex and London.
‘Eager to return’ to the frontline
Chadha used her announcement to warn about the ongoing risk that small charities will be “marginalised and excluded from wider public discussions”.
She said in her email: “My decision has not been an easy one, but after two extraordinary and wonderful years my own thinking and views have changed tremendously, and I am eager to return to a more frontline campaigning role addressing some of the very real and urgent challenges of our time.
“The fantastic team (trustees and colleagues) and I are all working earnestly over the summer to ensure that the work programme continues unabated and remains responsive, and exactly what you as small charities and not-for-profits need.
“There will definitely be no slow downing in my last few months, as we still have much to do.
“As we saw from reports last week, small charities can still get so easily marginalised and excluded from wider public discussions, [so] we need to maintain our individual and collective work to show that small charities are pivotal to addressing so many needs and also building opportunities and aspirations.”
She added: “As I prepare to return to the frontline, I am really proud to say that all the new organisations I will be working for and with are proud to be small!
“I will always be in awe of the work of small charities and the generosity and passion of SCC members.
“I would like to end by thanking you all for your energy, enthusiasm, commitment, and endearing support for the team at SCC.
“The kindness of members during the last year will remain with me for the rest of my life.”
Earlier this month she called on the government to “level the playing field” for small charities, after it emerged that a quarter of the emergency Covid-19 funding initially promised to smaller voluntary organisations had gone to charities worth over £1m.