Lizzie Walmsley, head of communications at the Small Charities Coalition, argues that smaller charities deserve more support.
97 per cent of charities have an income of less than £1m, but they share 20 per cent of the money that goes to the sector
I probably quote this statistic at least 10 times a week. I tell stakeholders who tell me that there’s a problem with trust in the sector, small charities who think they’re alone and sometimes I mention it on Twitter. As the editor of this publication highlighted, I’m actually wrong. This is a statistic used for ease but the truth is, with an estimated 200,000 unregistered “micro charities” in the UK, the figure is more like 99 per cent.
You could make the argument that this statistic is used to show that small charities should grow their income and become ‘big’. But that is not my intention or why I make myself sound like a parrot week after week.
74 per cent of charities in England and Wales turn over less than £100,000. As a helpful tweeter calculated, even if you took the 123,230 charities in England and Wales who have an income of £100,000 or less and gave them each a £50,000 gift, there would be an additional £6bn between them and yet they would all still be small.
I work for the Small Charities Coalition, a membership organisation representing over 9,000 small charities, not only giving them greater representation, but also providing a number of vital services including a support line, training and mentoring. I’m incredibly proud to champion the work of all small charities, registered and unregistered, across the country.
I am also supportive of our member’s growth ambitions – some are the perfect size for what they want to achieve and their ambitions are to maintain their small but vital purpose. Some want to grow slightly bigger, others want to merge with bigger organisations, many just want to be financially stronger and a minority have huge growth goals that they will one day no longer be small. They’re all part of the ecology of the rich civil society in which they exist.
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Source: Civil Society