In July 2016 Rob Wilson, the Minister for Civil Society, announced plans for a Local Charities Day, which would take place later this year to celebrate local charities and community groups. The date of 16th December was later designated as Local Charity Day
The government, thanks in no small part to the work of organisations such as Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI) – which provides the voice for smaller charities with policy makers and the public – is keen to encourage more giving to small and local civil society organisations.
What is clear is that smaller local charities and community groups' income is disproportionately lower than larger organisations. Organisations with an income of £100,000 or less make up 83% of the sector but less than 5% of the total income! This anomaly is what the government is keen to redress.
Although the initial announcement details were scratchy, Wilson stated that the Cabinet Office would offer £250,000 in match funding for a fundraising campaign that encourages giving to these groups.
In a further announcement on 7th November, he confirmed that the FSI will deliver 960 learning opportunities for free across the UK for Local Charities Day.
Wilson stated that, in the run up to the day (16th December) the Local Charities Training Programme will see the FSI deliver over 560 face-to-face training places in key fundraising topics in eight cities across the UK. The FSI sessions, which will be an hour long, will be held in: London; Newcastle; Bristol; Manchester; Ipswich; Birmingham; Leeds; and Brighton.
In addition, on Local Charities Day itself 20 webinars with 400 places will be made available, along with a Twitter Q&A and tool-kits and resources on a wide range of subjects.