We launched Small Charity Week 10 years ago to celebrate the amazing work of small charities and community groups across the UK delivering services locally, nationally and internationally.
We had just started the FSI and were amazed that although there was a ‘world naked gardening day, even a national gin day (a day I could get behind) there was no one day celebrating these vital charities. New to the sector and a small charity ourselves didn’t deter us and instead of a day, which didn’t seem significant enough, we would have a week-long celebration and so Small Charity Week was born.
It’s been a roller coaster ride – the first year was manic but we worked through our days, developed our events and initiatives, built the website and through sheer determination and a big dollop of naivety made it happen. No one was more surprised than us that everything went well and although we were exhausted at the end we were overwhelmed by how many small charities took part and benefited. It’s good to say thank you and no group deserves our thanks more than amazing and vital small charities and community groups.
Ten years later, and several improvements, day changes, and a massive growth in the number of charities taking part we are set to launch the most extensive programme yet.
Since then, the Week has engaged 13,555 charities, raised nearly half a million pounds, given out 3,446 hours of advice, stirred up 8,356 messages of small charity love, given 2,536 charities the chance to engage policy makers and influencers, and reached over 4.5million on social media!
This year we have seen a significant growth in the number of Businesses and larger charities wanting to support the week, acknowledging how important the small charity sector is to the very fabric of civil society. We have seen the largest number of Advisors sign up for Big Advice Day, with over 115 people coming forward to offer their expertise to small charities – truly phenomenal and we’re so grateful for their time. We’ve got a super strong line up of speakers sharing their knowledge and learning at our Fundraising Conference, and Policy Day is being supported by the Minister for Civil Society, DFID and other influencers. The offers of support and help go on and up year on year!
This year’s Small Charity Week sees the return of many popular initiatives like Big Advice Day at City Hall, our Policy Day reception and roundtable in Westminster, Fundraising Day conference, resources and prizes, and the announcement of our Small Charity Big Impact Awards winners! There are also a range of events, competitions and resources being offered by partners across the country, spreading the small charity love nationwide.
But as we look forward to the next 10 years, what do we see? We want to work more closely with more and more infrastructure bodies, releasing days to them to make them bigger and better and more impactful for small charities. We will always be proud of launching the initiative but 10 years on it’s now time to release it with love and share it with those likeminded organisations who too value and want to celebrate amazing and vital small charities and community groups. So the invitation is here – want to be part of Small Charity Week 2020 then let’s start talking and we would be delighted to share our knowledge, our experience and give as much support as possible. Because only with the support and help of others will we be able to take Small Charity Week to the next level.
Pauline Broomhead is founding CEO of the Foundation for Social Improvement (charity no. 1123384), the organisation behind Small Charity Week.