Only three percent of the UK’s smallest charities feel valued by national and local government, research by the Small Charities Coalition has revealed.
The report showed that 53% of small charities feel undervalued with 44% feeling neither valued or undervalued.
According to the Small Charities Coalition, at national government level the most frequent response to what would improve the situation was recognition and appreciation of what small charities do, closely followed by more and sustainable funding. 13% named greater engagement and consultation, while 10% called for more proactive government support for and promotion of small charities with ideas including a ‘Minister for the Third Sector’ and support with making better use of social media (including government departments retweeting posts).
At local level, the top answer was an end to the use of professional tender processes for local social welfare and value projects. 40% singled this out for creating a non-level playing field for small charities. Greater engagement and consultation at local level was the second most popular response at 27%. 15% prioritised greater funding by local government and 10% voted for national government increasing funding to local government and an end to cuts in local government budgets.
The survey also highlights regional variations in how small charities feel they are being treated. East Anglia reported the highest dissatisfaction rates with national government and even London reported a gloomy picture (57% feeling unvalued) while the situation was mildly less pessimistic in the North West and South West of England.
Neil March, Policy and Research Manager for the Small Charities Coalition said:
“The findings in the survey come as no surprise. They underline the strength of feeling about how little attention is being shown to the smaller organisations in our country. The current system is failing to respect the specialisms, local knowledge and relationships which make small local charities so important to their communities.”