Did you know that 0.0000003% of all charities receive 80% of all charity donations?
Small charities are the backbone of the UK for those in need, operating on low overheads and working at the heart of communities, providing valuable services where and when they most needed. All charities have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is the smaller charities, with few monetary reserves that are hit hardest with many facing closure if lockdown continues indefinitely, even though some provide essential services once provided by public sector organisations.
After several major scandals in the charitable sector, the reputation of charities has suffered a costly blow, with many donors refusing to give to their once trusted brands. However, it is important not to tar all charities with the same brush. As online giving becomes the preferred method of charitable donation, convenient and easy to administer gift aid, donors want to be sure that they are giving to a legitimate charitable organisation and that their funds are used in ethical ways, so they often defer to trusted brands with large advertising budgets, but this sometimes means that their hard earned cash is spent on professional advertising and executive salaries. So what should a donor do to ensure the maximum value is derived from each pound?
Ensure you give to a registered charity
All registered charities are strictly goverened by the Charities Commission who ensure that they are run according to due process, that Trustees adhere to policies and guidelines and that funds are used for the public benefit and the aims of the charity are fulfilled as per their constitution. Registered charities have to submit annual accounts and explain any decision-making and expenditure not directly related to the charitable aim. High levels of reserves also need to be accounted for and the Commission works with registered charities to ensure that they are used in an ethical way.
What is small charities' week?
This is a week dedicated to raising the profile of small charities and highlighting the good work that they do with very low funds. Small charities can also access support on governance, policy making and fundraising advice free of charge during this week. Award ceremonies highlight the work of certain successful charities who have a big impact with small funds, and the week allows small charities to celebrate their successes and thank their staff and volunteers.
How can I help?
Instead of continuing to boost the funds of the large players, why not investigate your smaller, local charities? Consider volunteering, but if you don't have the time, help to boost their much needed fundraising efforts by making a donation. Many small charities can be found on the Charities Aid Foundation website and you can donate to them directly there. Alternatively, research your favourite cause, research their credentials and ensure they are registered, then donate directly. Never give your bank details to someone who has contacted you via an unsolicited phone call.
If you would like to support CCC in providing much needed low cost counselling in Cambridgeshire and surrounding counties, you can donate either via the CAF website or CCC's Website. Use the donate button for a secure online payment via CAF. Thank you to everyone supporting CCC during this challenging time.