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25 OCTOBER 2016

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.

PHOTOGRAPH: IMAGE SOURCE / REX FEATURES
THEGUARDIAN

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