I make no apologies for returning to the theme of Small Charities (i.e. those with an annual income of less than £1 million).
This is not only because we at Minerva work almost exclusively with Small Charities, but also because Small Charities represent 96% of the UK’s 166,000 charities. Their voices and their needs deserve to be heard, but too often they are marginalised by the other 4%.
Businesses wanting to support or partner a charity almost invariably look to the 4%. When the media organise fundraising campaigns at Christmas and at other times, they tend to select from the 4% – although there has been a very small, but welcome, shift towards Small Charities by some media in very recent years.
After almost a year of the coronavirus crisis, the small charities Minerva works with have demonstrated both speed and agility in dealing with the crisis and the changes they needed to make to continue providing services to their beneficiaries. Despite lacking the funds and the staffing levels enjoyed by the 4%, these small and local charities have energetically – and efficiently – applied for coronavirus relief funding; reorganised their service delivery; purchased equipment to enable normally office-based workers and volunteers to operate from their homes – and successfully confounded the doom-and-gloom merchants who said they wouldn’t survive.
Whether small is beautiful is open to debate: but small in charity delivery since March 2020 has been shown to be determined, flexible and effective. So next time you consider supporting a charity, consider the 96% – if you have not done so already!