George Young

Senior Media Relations Officer

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20 June 2019

Small Charity Week is underway, and according to the latest research from the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), two thirds (67%) of people in the UK think small charities have a positive impact on their local community.

However, less of us think this is the case both nationally and internationally, suggesting that a majority of the public are unaware of the thousands of small charities that work across several countries and continents.

Some of the other key findings of the research include:

  • Only 41% of people could name at least one small charity when asked
  • 71% of people in the UK have helped a small charity at some point, whether that’s through donating money, sponsoring, fundraising, volunteering or giving goods away (e.g. to a charity shop)
  • 64% of us are likely donate money to a small charity in the future, whilst 66% are likely to give goods
  • Older generations are likelier to give goods to small charities, whilst 16-24 year olds are likelier than average to volunteer their time

Public perceptions of small charities

The research has been published to coincide with Small Charity Week, organised by the Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI). Running from 17th to 22nd of June, the campaign publicises the vital work that small charities do up-and-down the country. One of the campaign’s supporters, the Small Charities Coalition (SCC), is using the week to launch their Big Supports Small campaign that encourages charities of different sizes to work together to have a greater impact.

“CAF’s research is timely,” comments Tessa Tyler Todd, Policy and Public Affairs Manager at SCC. “Some of the data is really encouraging – it’s great that a majority of the public is likely to support small charities in the future and view their impact as positive. Having said that, it’s clear that we need to raise more awareness of small charities as only 40% of people could name at least one.”

SCC recognises the work that big charities do, but want to ensure that people know about how important small charities are to civil society as well. With this in mind, Tyler Todd believes that it’s crucial for larger charities and corporate partners to share their platforms and media presence to show their support of smaller charities. “91% of charities are entirely led by volunteers. Raising awareness of small charities will ensure that more can have an impact on people’s lives. The time to do that is now; Small Charity Week is the ideal time to support these relationships.

“For people wanting to support small charities, you can raise awareness in quick and easy ways. Talk to your friends and colleagues about your favourite small charity, shout about their work on your small media profiles and you could even volunteer your time, giving them practical help that will enable them to do more. These simple steps, when combined together, will have a huge impact.”

Notes to editors

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,096 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between the 20th and 26th of May 2019. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 16+).

CAF exists to make giving go further, so that more lives and communities around the world can be transformed.

CAF is a charity and a champion for better giving, and for over 90 years has helped donors, companies, charities and social organisations make a bigger impact. Through CAF Bank, it offers simple and straightforward day-to-day banking, designed exclusively for charities.

We are CAF and we make giving count.


Press office direct line (24 hours): 03000 123 286

Press office email:

George Young,

Mobile: 07969 296 646 / Office: 03000 123 715

Caroline Mallan,
Mobile: 07921 315 344 / Office: 03000 123 442

About the Big Support Small campaign

  • The “Big Supports Small’’ campaign is launching on the 17th June to mark the start of Small Charity Week 2019 (17th-21st of June).
  • As well as working with their membership, Small Charities Coalition is working with fantastic charities on the campaign including Shelter, Age UK, Mind and the Charities Aid Foundation.
  • The campaign will showcase great examples of support between charities of different sizes, and encourage others to do the same.

About Small Charities Coalition

  • The Small Charities Coalition supports small charities to access skills, tools and information.
  • The Small Charities Coalition has over 9,000 members and supporters UK-wide.
  • 97% of charities in the UK are small charities yet have less than 20% of the money that goes to the sector, we want to change this.
  • The Small Charities Coalition defines a charity as “small” if they have an annual turnover of less than £1million.
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