The Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI) is to be wound up by trustees, it has been announced today.
A statement from the trustees announcing the news says that it has proved ‘increasingly challenging to balance delivering the training and support we provide to members with the funding received from the multiple streams pursued by the FSI’s leadership.’
The trustees also say that they are ‘extremely disappointed that yet another infrastructure charity must close at a time when supporting these organisations is so vital.’
However, the statement reads, the challenge of sustainability, while retaining accessibility for members, has hampered the work of the FSI since the beginning, despite the rising demand from its services. This challenge, it says, has finally become too significant to continue.
The aim is to close this Spring, with trustees looking to wind down contractual arrangements between partners, suppliers and sponsors, and support staff.
FSI was behind the annual Small Charity Week, and has reached nearly 9,000 small charities with its member offers and trained thousands of individuals across the country in its time.
FSI was an NCVO partner for several years, and delivered their shared e-learning course, with the two also working together to support small charities. Responding to the news, Sarah Vibert, CEO of NCVO, said:
“We’re extremely saddened about the closure of FSI, not only what it means for their organisation and staff, but also what it signifies for the wider infrastructure sector. This news will come as a further blow to small charities, after the Small Charities Coalition closure last year.
“We are committed to ensuring the specialist support FSI provides is not lost and will work with FSI trustees, partner organisations and funders over the coming weeks to find the best solutions going forward. We were already working to deliver the Small Charity Week campaign with the FSI this year and are actively talking to our civil society group partners about this.
“Infrastructure is a vital part of the voluntary sector ecosystem, providing support, connection and voice to government, so charities can focus on delivering their mission. These are all crucial during crisis, but we also know the current cost-of-living crisis means that voluntary organisations have to carefully account for every penny spent.
“We have flagged our concerns to DCMS about the sustainability of voluntary sector infrastructure following the closure of two national infrastructure bodies and in light of the 360 Giving report.”