We know you’re dedicated, thrifty, resourceful and excellent at networking.
The strength of being a small charity is the trust in our cause from the local community. Being established, embedded and connected allows us to offer person-centred, quick decisions and long-term solutions.
The disadvantages of being small are the lack of human resource, time and budget for running costs.
This Small Charity Week I wondered how I could help you with those challenges and had a lightbulb moment as I looked at all the bookmarked pages on my internet browser.
We use free versions of apps and tools to save time, read blogs and join webinars to access free training and network with other voluntary groups and charities for free expertise and resources.
Here’s a run down of our favourite, free (or reduced cost) things:
Social Media is time consuming but essential to raise your profile. We use Hootsuite to set up our posts for the week ahead – the free version allows scheduling of 3 different channels. Pocket to save articles and links that would make interesting content. Survey Monkey to find out what our beneficiaries are thinking. Mailchimp to create and send multiple emails. Pixabay and Unsplash for amazing free images to make our social media visually engaging. We create videos using Lumen5 and Mojo and use Canva for graphic-design of correctly sized media images
Technology and software are expensive, but for UK registered charities the Tech Trust offer discounted technology from world leading providers. We use Sage Accounting, Salesforce CRM and Microsoft Office and One Drive through this program. Website creation and maintenance used to be a dark art, but WordPress (or other website content management systems) make it easy to create and maintain simple free sites.
Training is important and free training not easy to find. VSNS offer volunteer management, trustee, social media and fundraising training. Surrey Skills Academy run courses throughout Surrey both classroom and online. NCVO Knowhow have templates, how-to guides and e-learning on hundreds of topics, some are member only access but small charity membership is free. Media Trust has a resource hub and offer free training – I’ve attended 2 amazing conferences in London in the past year. Webinars are also a great way to learn – you’ll find details in many of the fundraising blogs below.
and finally … Fundraising
We publish up to date funding information from local and national funders. I read lots of fundraising blogs (White Fuse, Charity Choice, UK Fundraising, Not for Profit Tech for Good ….), NCVO have a grant finder called Funding Central, Amazon and Facebook now have ways for users to donate (with Instagram likely to follow soon) and there are a variety of donation pages at little or no cost.
Currently, there are over 136,000 registered small and micro charities in the UK, making up 82% of the charity total. More than half of them (58%) have an income under £10,000. There are also estimated to be between 600,000 to 900,000 unincorporated organisations that are too small to register.
Our networking is second to none – so this Small Charity Week pay your knowledge forward and share your skills with other small charities. Make all our lives easier and our causes mightier!