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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

A third of people can’t name a local charity

This news post is about 8 years old

Only one in 10 people support local charities through fundraising new research finds

Over a third of people cannot name a local charity in their area, and one in 10 have never donated to any charity, local or otherwise, new research by TSB has revealed.

Half of adults say they feel local charities play an important role in their community, yet only one in 10 people can name at least two local charities in their area, and only one in 10 help their local community by fundraising for local causes.

This could partly be down to awareness, as nearly three quarters of Brits say they have donated to a national charity, along with a third donating to an international charity. By comparison, one in five say they only found out about local charities when family or friends needed support from them and the most common reason people gave for not donating to a local charity is not knowing enough about them.

Small local charities play a vital role in helping communities across Britain to thrive and our research shows just how difficult it can be for them to get the support they need

Decision-makers at small local charities seem to agree, with half saying that increased awareness in the local community and greater support from local businesses would be the most helpful changes for supporting their work.

In the same research, half of small local charities said that the high number of large national and international charities presents a challenge to their fundraising.

One in two charities do not have a fundraising target but of those that do, one in four are struggling to meet it.

Currently, small charities rely primarily on grant-making organisations for their funding, followed by donations from local people. Only 3% mostly rely on local businesses for fundraising.

Nigel Gilbert, TSB’s chief marketing and communications officer, said: “Small local charities play a vital role in helping communities across Britain to thrive and our research shows just how difficult it can be for them to get the support they need.

“Over the past year, through our local charity partnerships, we have donated over £800,000 to local causes across Britain, which is equivalent to nearly £100 for every partner that works for us.

“The success of our local charity partnerships is proof that you don’t have to have a national, big budget, charity campaign to make a difference. Lots of small, locally organised fundraising events add up to a significant injection of cash to the small local charities that support us all when we need it most.”

Stephen Elsden, a trustee at the Small Charities Coalition and chief executive at Compaid, said: “Small charities, like the one I work for, are the lifeblood of local communities and it’s always a challenge to find the funding that we need to keep going and to reach out to people who could benefit from our services."