Small charities miss out on donations because public unaware of them

Research to coincide with Small Charities Week shows that – aside from more funding – having a greater public profile would be the single biggest help

One in two people who don’t give to local charities say the main reason is that they are unaware of them, research suggests.

Small local charities themselves say that having a greater profile in their communities would be the single biggest help to them, other than increased funding.

The evidence that boosting awareness of local charities could be key to them flourishing emerges in surveys commissioned by the TSB bank to coincide with Small Charity Week this week.

TSB, which supports almost 500 local charities across Britain through its branches, is working with the Small Charities Coalition to encourage people to find out about local charities and get behind them.

Bola Gibson, head of community engagement at TSB, says: “Unlike large organisations, which naturally have more resources at their disposal, small local charities really struggle to get their voice heard. The lack of awareness is greatly hampering their funding and operations.”

The research included an Opinion Matters survey of more than 1,000 adults. Over a third (38%) of them could not name a local charity in their area and 50% of those who said they did not donate to any local charities gave the reason as not knowing enough about them.

A second survey, by ComRes, comprised interviews with 301 registered local charities with annual income of less than £200,000. More than half (157) said that greater awareness of their charities would be the biggest help, apart from increased funding.

Graham Robinson, a volunteer with North Nottinghamshire Community First Responders, which assists the ambulance service, says: “Large companies tend to donate to well-known household charity names, so we find it hard to get them to support us. It comes down to awareness.”

Gibson says: “What our local charity partnerships have proved is that partnerships between well-known businesses and local causes can have a positive effect, not just by increasing funding but also increasing awareness.”

Small Charity Week is an annual campaign to celebrate and raise the profile of smaller charities. It was initiated in 2010 by the Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI), which works with charities with annual income of up to £1.5m.

For more news, opinions and ideas about the voluntary sector, join our community.


David Brindle

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Local charities stretched to breaking, with half not sure of surviving
On the first-ever local charities day, our report reveals an uncertain future for many small charities, despite three in four seeing demand rise

Lou Coady

16, Dec, 2016 @6:25 AM

Article image
Charities should also target Donor Dave, not just Donor Dorothy
It’s simple – if charities continue to ignore the potential male givers the competition for older women’s generosity will grow even fiercer

Peter Gilheany

25, May, 2016 @1:53 PM

Article image
Can Facebook's new donate button help turn likes into charity cash?
As Facebook works to make it easier for charities to talk to their supporters, Emma Sheppard looks at how organisations are embracing social media

Emma Sheppard

06, Jul, 2016 @9:54 AM

Article image
How charities can take advantage of Giving Tuesday
Donations increased by 270% last year – here’s how your organisation can make it count this time round

Anna Isaac

25, Nov, 2015 @7:00 AM

Article image
Charities, get ready for Giving Tuesday – live Q&A
One in three people is likely to donate to charity on 1 December. Ask our experts how best to prepare

Aimee Meade

12, Nov, 2015 @9:29 AM

Article image
How to manage donations left in wills: five tips for charities | Chris Millward
Every year, £2.5bn is left to UK charities. Our new guidance offers five ways to ensure they don’t lose out because of declining public trust in fundraising

Chris Millward

22, Feb, 2017 @6:53 AM

Article image
Should all charities merge their communication and fundraising teams?
Only 14% of voluntary sector professionals feel that the two departments work towards shared goals

Tim Smedley

24, Jun, 2015 @11:09 AM

Article image
How charities can work with tech companies
Charities know that digital technology can boost their impact, but getting started is a challenge. Here are some tips

Sam Applebee

23, Aug, 2017 @6:02 AM

Article image
What charities can learn from design agencies | Matt Saunders
From websites to business cards, designers can transform how charities and social enterprises work. Here’s why it’s worth the investment

Matt Saunders

21, Aug, 2017 @6:01 AM

Article image
What the sugar, horsemeat and doping scandals can teach charities about PR
While other sectors did not escape unscathed from their media scandals, charities can learn much from their reactions

Olivia McGill

03, Jun, 2016 @6:00 AM