Study highlights challenges facing small charities

Written by Matt Ritchie

Many small charities are feeling the impact of competition from larger better-funded organisations, according to new research.

Over 50 per cent of small charities believe better known larger charities – with significant marketing budgets and expertise – present a challenge to their fundraising efforts, according to a new study published by TSB to mark the start of Small Charity Week.

The survey, which covered 301 small local charities, found 61 per cent reported skills gaps in their organisations resulting in an increasing workload for existing staff and volunteers. This contributed to 43 per cent of respondents saying they are increasingly unable to take on new work.

The survey of more than 1,000 UK adults found 38 per cent could not name one local charity, and 13 per cent could name more than one. The study said small charities represent 97 per cent of Britain’s charity sector and the majority operate in local communities.

However, 10 per cent of respondents are helping their local community by fundraising for local causes. And the survey found 50 per cent of people polled said they would donate money to their local charity if they knew about them.

Head of community engagement at challenger bank TSB Bola Gibson said small, local charities can struggle to get their voice heard and the resulting lack of awareness can hamper their funding and operations.

“Local charities are the lifeblood of the communities they serve, playing a vital role in supporting the daily lives of thousands of people,” Gibson said.

The Small Charities Coalition worked with TSB on the report. Chief executive John Barrett said his organisation hears first-hand from its members about the challenges facing small organisations.

"We hope that others are able to join us in highlighting and supporting the valuable work of small charities throughout the UK."

Access the report here.

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