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A message from our founder Lynn Stanier:

Yesterday, I attended The FSI Big Advice Day for small charities at City Hall and met some interesting specialist volunteers from various sectors of business, marketing, social media, law, governance and fundraising to name but a few. I'd like to say thank you to everyone who supported FSI, they provide these much needed, training, advocacy support programmes and expertise free of charge to the UK's vibrant small charity sector and it is hugely appreciated by us all. Today, I was invited to an International Development debate at House of Lords, opened by Lord David Blunkett. He congratulated Pauline Broomhead founding CEO of FSI on her CBE award and a lively debate followed. 'Small charities have no role in international development: The Global South should take ownership of their own development needs.' There is no doubt that we are working in a challenging environment and in the current economic climate our futures are being questioned, but the conclusion resulted overwhelmingly that although the larger charities share 90% of funding, impact should not be measured on turnover alone. Small charities can act more quickly, spot other issues on the ground, take risks, identify gaps, and engage, listen, deliver, offer good value to donors, support and empower in ways larger charities cannot. The aim for any charity should be to support, facilitate and ultimately withdraw, but until the Global South are ready to take ownership of their development, thank goodness there are passionate entrepreneurial individuals who are determined to create solutions to begin this reversal of need. It was a real pleasure to meet so many today. As it was the Queen's speech today, we were relocated to Church House, behind Westminster Abbey. The roads were closed and pedestrian barricades made it difficult to navigate the route. I stepped out to cross the traffic free road, when a policeman suddenly grabbed me out of the way of a car with a flag which suddenly appeared round the corner. Imagine being almost knocked over by the Queen and Prince Phillip? Yes really! It's been an interesting couple of days, and I'm so pleased to be here to tell the story!

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