Small Charity Week takes place in June every year - seven days dedicated to celebrating the vital impact that small charities make to communities throughout the UK and across the world.
What is a small charity?
Did you know? When we talk about the size of a charity it is always related to their income whereas when we talk about the size of a business it is defined by the number of people that work for the business, not the income.
Small charities are defined by income of less than £1 million. In fact 97% of UK registered charities are small and 47% of these are micro with an income of under £10,000 per annum.
Although these charities may be small often they provide vital services in communities across the UK and the world. There are many times when small charities have filled gaps that larger organisations can't or because they are so agile they are the first to respond to a crisis.
Although these charities are working with very small budgets the impact small charities have is outstanding.
Here are five small charities making a big impact:
Read for Good’s mission is to improve the outcomes for all children in the UK by encouraging and enabling children to develop a love of reading.
Every year Read for Good gifts over 27,000 new books and delivers 224 storytelling days to 30 major UK children's hospitals, reaching at least 150,000 children.
Read for Good also reaches around 2,000 schools and around half a million pupils with Readathon, the UK’s sponsored read, which first started in 1984.
Rafiki Thabo Foundations run education programmes in Kenya, Lesotho and Uganda. The charities vision is that young people, including those living with disabilities, will be empowered through education.
By the end of 2021, they had supported 439 children and young people to continue with their education when their families had run out of means to pay their fees, of which 40 were living with a disability.
They also provide at least 70 of the very poorest students with lunch each day at a partner school in Uganda.
Recent projects also include constructing pig sties and chicken coops to generate income for the schools, and electrification of classrooms.
Only a Pavement Away (OAPA) is a charity set up to help people who have experienced or are at risk of homelessness including prison leavers and veterans, into long-term stable employment within the hospitality industry.
Since launching the programme in October 2018, they have placed 200 people into work.
In 2018 they launched the 'Fill A Flask' campaign so rough sleepers can have a cold drink in the summer months. They have since distributed 6,000 flasks to rough sleepers in London, Manchester, Brighton, Birmingham and Norwich.
The charity also have created a 'Life Skills Hub' - a two week back-to-work programme designed to support those being rehoused and re-employed on how to live independently, whilst developing their employability skills and giving them the tools they need to get back on their feet.
Bloody Good Period fights for menstrual equity and the rights of all people who bleed. They give period products to those who can't afford them, and provide menstrual education to those less likely to access it.
The charity bulk buys period products to keep costs down and delivers them to 100 partners across England and Wales including organisations supporting refugees and asylum-seekers, charities for the homeless and food banks.
In March 2020, when the UK first entered lockdown, Bloody Good Period distributed over 100,000 packs of period products.
The charity also runs sessions and workshops to support menstruating asylum seekers and refugees to educate them on period equity.
Communicare in Southampton is a local charity that enriches the quality of life of lonely and isolated people.
They currently have 606 service users and 297 volunteers.
In May 2022 alone the charities volunteers had telephone befriending phone calls or in person befriending visits to 135 service users.
In addition, the charities volunteers provided 85 food shops and provided 44 lifts to service users.
Fundraising for a small charity can be hugely rewarding.
- For small businesses it can mean building a relationship with a charity that provides services within the community the business is working in.
- Smaller charities can sometimes offer a closer working relationships with their business supporters - a great example of this is how Communicare in Southampton champion the local businesses that are fundraising for them on their website and on social media.
- Often because small charities are operating on a shoestring, every little donation from a small business makes such a powerful impact.
To find a small charity to fundraise for through your sales, you can use our Choose a charity section on our website. Search under the tab 'Size (income per annum)' .