Charity Times’ most read articles of 2021

It’s been a long year, and with that a lot of news and features have been published across the Charity Times website. Below, we link to some of the stories you have read the most for a throwback before we head into 2022.


1. UK’s charity hotspots revealed
Charity shops in Nottingham have emerged as the most popular in the country, according to latest research.

2. Charity Times announced sector’s ‘pandemic pioneers’
The charity sector’s 'pandemic pioneers' have been announced in the latest issue of the Charity Times magazine

3.Major charities write to MP to halt benefit cuts
Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Crisis and Mind are among 100 charities, unions and think tanks to sign a joint letter to the Prime Minister calling on him to halt planned benefits cuts within weeks.

4.RSPCA to sell main office as part of hybrid working plan
The RSPCA has become the latest charity to look to downsize its headquarters to embrace flexible and hybrid models of working, where staff divide their time between home and office.

5. Autumn Budget 2021: How does it affect charities?
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced the government’s Autumn Budget, but what does it mean for charities? Among announcements made in the house of commons on 27 October is the promise of £560m to youth services over the next three years; enough to fund up to 300 youth clubs.


1. Reaping rewards: Are employee benefits worth the cost?
After a tough financial year, many charities will be looking at ways to cut back. But should employee benefits be one of them?

2. Generation generous: How to attract and retain young donors?
Over the past two years, donors’ attitudes towards charity have changed considerably. Amid a global pandemic, climate change, a refugee crisis and tensions in Afghanistan, a whole new demographic of people have started to think about how they might be able to give more. One demographic in particular, ‘Gen Z’, are passionate about doing more for the world and, through social media, are seeking charities that share similar values.

3. Friend or foe: Who do trustees rely on?
Everyone needs help sometimes, so why has a survey revealed that trustees are more inclined to go to their peers for help than a regulator or industry body?

4. Hands up: Does the sector have a transparency problem?
Allegations of harassment, bullying, and racism have been rife among the charity sector in recent months, highlighting internal issues that have been improperly addressed. Is a culture of fear causing a transparency problem?

5. Flexible working: The pros and cons of a four-day week
As employees look to change the way they work and maintain a healthy work-life balance, we explore the pros and cons to a four-day working week.


1. Lauren Weymouth: “If a ‘to-do’ list is too daunting, create a ‘have done’ list instead
Is there anything better than ticking off a to-do list? During times of stress and anxiety, being able to mark a little ‘tick’ next to a ‘to-do’ is extremely satisfying. But often, in the midst of a crisis, the simple act of writing the list in the first place – especially when it appears to be infinite – can be far too daunting. After all, where do you even begin when the list is longer than the piece of paper you’re writing on?

2. Melissa Moody: Leaders should be encouraging more young people to volunteer
When I sat down to write this piece, I thought back over my own experience with charities and what led me to this role, now working on Charity Times and reporting on the sector that has influenced a lot of my life’s decisions thus far.

3. Secret charity CEO: “A board meeting feels like PMQs”
As part of a new series, a secret charity CEO documents some of their issues relating to charity leadership. This time, issues with a difficult chair lead to some unwanted tension.

4. David Welch: “Empathetic leadership allows you to push boundaries”
Winner of the Charity Times 2021 Leader of the Year Award, David Welch, CEO of Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS) talks about what makes a good leader in the charity sector

5. Melissa Moody: Does the terms trustee need a re-brand?
Be honest: if you weren’t part of the charity sector, would you know what the term 'trustee' means? The law describes charity trustees as ‘the persons having the general control and management of the administration of a charity’, but who outside of the sector knows this?


1. Top five charities using cryptocurrencies
Charities are increasingly turning to cryptocurrencies to boost their income as well as cut costs. To offer flexibility to supporters many charities are offering the option to give donations using cryptocurrencies.

2. Top 10 emotional support groups for charity leaders
Earlier this year, a survey by voluntary sector insurer Ecclesiastical revealed the shocking strain Covid-19 has had on the mental health and emotional wellbeing of charity staff, volunteers and leaders. This found that 44% see burnout as a significant threat to their operations and two thirds said staff are experiencing an increase in stress levels.

3. Top 10 diversity, equity and inclusion resources for charities
Charities are increasingly taking an honest look at themselves to ensure they are being inclusive, equitable and encouraging diversity. Here we look at ten of the top inclusion, equity and diversity resources to help charities improve.

4. Top 10 charity partnerships
Charities have a strong track record of working together to improve their efficiency and support for good causes. Often this involves voluntary organisations with the same goals and ambitions working together across fundraising, service delivery, lobbying and their organisation.

5. Top 10 trustee recruitment and training resources
Charity boards are changing. Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) is an increasing priority for the sector as charities are looking to ensure their boards are more representative of wider society and the communities they support.


1. How did relationships affect volunteering during Covid-19?
Immy Robinson, co-lead of The Relationships Project, speaks to Melissa Moody about how the Covid-19 pandemic encouraged more people than ever to volunteer and suggests ways of keeping them engaged.

2. Hubbub: “Social media will play into the future of charities in a positive way”
Rosie Gordon Lennox, senior creative lead at Hubbub, describes how social media has affected charities, how the charity won the Charity Times 2021 social media award and what it can mean for the future online.

3. How the Leprosy Mission won a Charity Times Fundraising award
The Leprosy Mission won this year's Charity Times Fundraising Team of the Year award. Its head of fundraising Louise Timmons discusses the challenges of fundraising during the pandemic and the lessons the charity has learned over the last 18 months.

4. How Alzheimer’s Research UK won the 2021 Charity Times HR Award
Alzheimer's Research UK's HR director, Alison Kelly talks to Melissa Moody about the changes the charity made to win the 2021 Charity Times HR Award and what other charities can learn.

5. Dogs Trust CEO: “We’ve made a conscious effort to make sure leadership is visible”
With every charity facing unique challenges over the past year, Dogs Trust’s chief executive Owen Sharp speakers to Charity Times senior writer, Melissa Moody, about how it's coped with restrictions whilst keeping tails happily wagging.

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