Supporting Small Charities: A Call to All

27 June 2024

Small Charity Week 2024 is well underway! Having started on Monday 24th June running until this Friday, there have already been loads of events and there are still more events spanning across the week. You can find out more about all the events here.


What is Small Charity Week?

For those of you who don’t know, Small Charity Week is a week-long nationwide campaign to shine the light on lesser-known organisations and the crucial roles they play in championing key causes in their community. Last year during Small Charity Week, just under a thousand people booked onto over 100 different events. Not only were charities given opportunities to develop their own skills in these sessions but there was also a huge increase in engagement of the campaign across social media, allowing small charities to get a chance in the spotlight. 


What counts as a ‘small charity’? 

Are you wondering what exactly is a ‘small charity’ and who exactly you are meant to look out for this week? 

The term ‘small charity’ refers to any voluntary organisation that has a social or charitable purpose with an annual income of less than £1 million. Often, they work within their local communities and are led by people with lived experience. They make up about 96% of all voluntary organisations in the UK.


But why do we need to support them? 

Being a small charity has always come with some struggle – including less funding, reduced resource or lack of profile. Since the pandemic in 2020, these issues have only  become exacerbated, with cuts to funding, increased competition and challenges relating to recruitment, making it increasingly difficult for small charities thrive. 

Now, more than ever, everyone needs to play their part in supporting small charities. 


How can individuals support small charities? 

Individuals play a crucial role in supporting small charities through donations, volunteering their time, and raising awareness within their communities. 

Individuals are encouraged to spread awareness about small charities. Learning and understanding what small charities do for their local communities is crucial to connecting the wider public to small charities. Bridging that gap and ensuring more people know about them will in turn help generate support from more people. 

By listening, organising, volunteering, and engaging with small charities, you not only contribute to their immediate needs but also cultivate a culture of community support and collaboration. Together, these efforts ensure that small charities receive the necessary backing to thrive and continue making a significant difference in people's lives.

This year, Small Charity Week has created a public pledge for the general public on how to support small charities. Following discussions with several small charities, the key issues outlined were the lack of visibility, funding and volunteers. These are all areas in which individuals can make an impact and support small charities.

“We’re asking people to show their LOVE for small charities:

L-Listen and Learn: I will learn what small charities do in my neighbourhood

O-Organise: I will get my community involved with small charities

V-Volunteer: I will support small charities with my time, voice and money

E- Engage: I will do a bit more to make my community better.”

Read more about the pledge here.


Donating Time & Money

One fantastic way to support small charities is to volunteer your time or donate your money . Supporting small charities with your time is crucial, as they always need more hands to manage their tasks. Volunteers can actively contribute to a charity’s mission and see the effects of the work small charities do first hand.  

If you are unable to give up your time, donating, of course, is another way to support the work small charities do. Reduced funding is another challenge that small charities have been facing, so donations of any size are hugely appreciated. 


Increasing Visibility

One of the biggest obstacles small charities face is the fact people aren’t fully aware of them or what they do. A recent focus group led by NFP Research found that young people are largely uninvolved and unaware of the charity sector, and not due to a lack of interest! 

Small Charity Week offers a way to change this, as NCVO has pledged to actively highlight and showcase the work that small charities do on its website and social media. It’s not just the organisations themselves who can submit their stories. 

They want to hear from anyone involved.  

Anyone who uses a service provided by a small charity can share how they’ve been supported by a specific organisation. In addition to this, volunteers are encouraged to share what volunteering for their charity means to them. These personal stories can help demonstrate just how valuable small charities are. 

In addition to these first-hand accounts, larger charities and corporate partners can step forward and share their successful collaborations with small charities. By spotlighting these vital partnerships, you can demonstrate the power of collective action, drawing attention to the incredible work small charities can achieve with enough resources. 

If you have an inspiring story to tell, get in touch with


Advocating for Political Change

Political advocacy is vital in shaping policies and securing funding for small charities. Attending debates and engaging with policymakers can lead to legislative changes that better support the sector. By advocating for small charities' interests in policy and legislation, individuals can help create a more conducive environment for their growth and impact.

Last year, over 1000 small charities and voluntary sector supporters wrote to the Prime Minister to highlight the struggles small charities face and how they need more support from the government. Further support from more people for action like this means that together, we cannot be ignored and change will happen. 


Whether through individual actions, political advocacy, or collaborative partnerships, everyone has a role to play in ensuring these vital organisations continue to thrive and serve their communities effectively. Together, we can build a stronger foundation where small charities can flourish and make a lasting difference in people's lives.

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