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17 Jun 16

Celebrating Small Charity Week

This week the UK has been celebrating Small Charity Week, recognising the important work done by inspirational groups of people working to improve the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable citizens.

I ♥ Small Charities

The week kicked off on June 13 with I ♥ Small Charities Day, a social awareness campaign that encouraged people to share the reasons why they supported small charities on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Big Advice

Expert advice isn’t always accessible for organisations with limited resources, so Small Charity Week organised Big Advice Day on June 14 for small charities to gain the insight they need on the issues they struggle to address. The FSI hosted the event that saw a variety of experts advise small charities on HR, legal, finance, marketing, business planning and strategy, as well as a fundraising panel that answered queries about the many different fundraising streams that are available.

Policy Day

97% of charities have an annual turnover of less than £1.5 million. However, the voices of these small charities are often drowned out by larger and better resourced organisations. On June 15, Policy Day pushed for small charities to meet policymakers, MPs, academics, government officials and other key stakeholders to engage in a conversation about sector issues that disproportionately affect their organisations. Recently, small charities have found themselves being bogged down with defending themselves against controversies affecting only a small percentage of charities. Paul Streets, CEO of the Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales, has said “the public don’t blame the local corner shop for the actions of Tesco – those actions might even drive people to the corner shop so maybe there’s an opportunity here.”

A reception at Admiralty House in Westminster was followed by debate in the House of Lords on the topic “The future of international aid: will small international development charities survive?”, and there were local events held in Leeds and South Gloucestershire. Policy Day also encouraged small charities to invite their local MPs to come and see the work that they do.

Mark Fisher kicking off the Policy Day reception speeches in Admiralty House #smallcharityweek

A photo posted by Small Charity Week (@scweek2016) on

Fundraising

June 16 was Fundraising Day, arguably the most pressing issue in the charity sector at the moment. The day provided an opportunity for small charites to engage with their supporters, both old and new, with a range of initiatives and resources.

The #GiveMe5 campaign saw the FSI and Localgiving pledged to double 1,000 £5 online donations made on the day, and the PayPal Giving Fund partnered with the Small Charity Week Ebay Auction to raise funds for small charities via items auctioned on Ebay. Speaking of Ebay, they reserved their Give at Checkout fundraising channel slots for small charities this week. There was also an opportunity for small charities to win a year’s membership to Remember a Charity, a high-profile legacy giving campaign.

The FSI Fundraising Conference was also held in London and featured presentations from sector leaders such as trust fundraising with the Bulldog Trust, community fundraising with Breast Cancer Care, online fundraising with Localgiving, corporate fundraising with Vanquis Bank, event fundraising with Beating Bowel Cancer, and the headline speaker Alan Clayton discussed donor-centred fundraising.

Volunteering

Many volunteers miss the opportunity to work for small charities simply becauser they’re not aware that they’re needed. Volunteering Day on June 17 aims to bring volunteers and small charities together. There is such a diverse range of small charities, volunteers can choose an organisation that they are truly passionate about.

To find out about volunteer positions with small charities in your area, click here.

Celebration

Small Charity Week comes to an end on June 18, a day to celebrate small charities everywhere. You can plan your own celebration event with the Small Charity Week toolkit.

Well done to all the small charities out there who invest so much of their knowledge, competence and passion into making the world a better place!