Throughout the UK, charities at the moment doing some amazing work for those who need it. Both big and small, charities who care for children, animals, the environment, the elderly and the homeless all work in unison to ensure that those who are in need of support, get it.
There has been much debate in recent years about the effectiveness of charities whose sizes are on either end of the spectrum. Like many, you may have found yourself asking; should I support a small or large charity?
The impact of charities is felt around the UK every day and without them, many people would not be able to live their lives with any degree of satisfaction or happiness.
So, what is the impact of charities in the UK? What charity should I support? What kind of charity is best to support?
What charities are there in the UK?
There are thousands of charities in the UK that support a huge range of different beneficiaries. There are children’s charities, animal charities, environmental charities, charities that care for the elderly, disabilities charities and homelessness charities.
All of them play a huge role in providing much needed support in the UK to those who truly need it the most.
According to Charity Excellence, there are currently 412,396 charities in the UK. If you include all of the registered social enterprises as well, there are 488,731 non-profit organisations in the UK.
It is also reported that in England and Wales there is a wide gap between those who are generating the highest income and the lowest. 75% of charities generate between £0 and £100,000 whereas 24% of charities generate between £100,001 and £5,000,000. Only 1% generate more than £5,000,000 a year.
A small charity is defined as a charity which has income of less than £1,000,000 a year. This means, there are literally thousands more small charities than large ones.
This is where the question arises of, are small charities more effective than large ones?
Small charities and the work they do
With the sheer numbers of small charities in the UK, it is easy to see why a lot of work has been done by them and why so many people do rely on them.
The work small charities do is not dissimilar to that of the big ones, just on a smaller scale. From community outreach, being first responders to community problems and working closely with local services, small charities are vital at making and maintaining a close connection with local people and local services.
Because small charities are often based in local communities or become community hubs, they are in a great position to identify the need of the community, those within it and are in a good position to interact with those who need the most help. They often have a unique way of working and interacting. With these unique techniques, small charities can work to find the source of problems and find the solutions that better suit the needs of the beneficiaries quicker.
It has been found that smaller charities are able to often react to an event quicker than large ones. This may be due to many things, but the most compelling reason being that the thousands of small charities dotted around the UK are so integrated and loved by their communities that they can be some of the first to lend a hand, find support or give support when something happens within their community.
Don’t forget, a lot of local, small charities are run by people who may have lived in the local area for their whole life and know the exact problems and issues for the local people. They will also know how local people react and respond to certain help from charity. This knowledge is invaluable when it comes to forging connections, trust and friendships between charity, local people, local authority and the wider community.
Large charities and the work they do
We have all heard of the big names of charity in the UK like British Heart Foundation, Barnardo’s, Cancer Research UK and The Salvation Army. But what work do they do?
Large charities are very well suited to being able to carry out research and organise large scale and countrywide projects or fundraising events which in turn can have the potential to help lots of people.
They can also rely on a huge number of supporters to help to raise money for the causes they are striving towards. The great thing about larger charities is that they have the resources and numbers of volunteers and employees to create a difference on a wider scale.
Is a small charity or large charity better?
Unfortunately, there is no real answer to this. We don’t see it as a case of which one is better than the other, we see it as; both do amazing work but in different ways. Both have positives, both have draw backs.
If you are looking to choose between supporting a big charity or a small charity, it is always the best practise to see who they are supporting, how much money per £1 of donation is going to their campaigns and benefactors, and if you agree with ethos of the charity.
Both large and small charities offer volunteering opportunities as well so if you don’t want to give money, an hour here and there also makes the world of difference. If you are looking to support a charity and still can’t decide why you should choose one over another, contact the charity you are interested in and speak with one of their team.
Supporting a charity, both big and small, is an amazing thing to do and can help to ensure that those in our community who are in more disadvantaged positions to ourselves can receive the support they need.