Joanna Gresty - January 30th , 2024

The underdogs of philanthrophy: funding the good fight

Smaller charities often face uphill battles when it comes to securing funding. Joanna Gresty explores the unique challenges faced by these unsung heroes of social change and how your support can make a significant difference in the lives of those who need it most.

Several grils hugging

At Givto, we aim to support the invaluable work of every charity. With that being said, we’re no stranger to the challenges smaller charities face when it comes to fundraising.

More than 80% of UK charities have an income of less than £100,000 a year. There’s no doubt as to the vital role these often-unsung heroes play in our society. Givto is the first service of its kind and can play an important part in fundraising, with its effective niche for smaller charities.

We know better than most that small charities play a crucial role in our society, providing support and services to those who may otherwise be overlooked. The huge impact they have with a small team and low overheads can be incredible to witness. They usually work locally, so they understand the specific needs and challenges faced in a particular region. Furthermore, because they’re small, they can work quickly and responsively to needs without the bureaucracy and politics of larger organisations. But, even though they’re better positioned to help those hardest to reach, they often struggle to secure funding, leaving them unable to expand.

Time is not a luxury small charities have, in contrast to larger organisations. Applying for grants, fundraising and researching the options must be assigned to volunteers and/or already busy staff members. This can eat into the time that small organisations have to actually deliver the services they want to provide, limiting their outreach in the community. Small charities also often find themselves competing with larger, more well-known organisations for the same limited pool of funding. Larger, more well-known organisations that already have the network, the donors and the resources that smaller or new charities are desperate for.

The Covid-19 pandemic and cost of living crisis has further exacerbated the funding challenges facing these organisations. Additional funding was provided to those who directly supported COVID-19 efforts, known as the “Covid boost” but most charities working in other areas saw an unfortunate decline.

Meanwhile, the current financial crisis has seen an increase in demand for the services that smaller local charities provide, whilst seeing a reduction in donations as people scrutinise their outgoings. 55% of the public are finding it harder to donate now, whilst a good amount more are approaching the threshold of needing the very same services they can’t afford to fund.

So, how can we fund these underdogs of philanthropy?

Firstly, grant makers, government agencies, health boards and corporations need to recognise the importance of smaller charities, who provide more particular but no less vital services, filling the “gaps” that public services cannot cover. Integrated Care Boards in the NHS increasingly involve local voluntary organisations, recognising their critical role in local health eco-systems.

Secondly, authorities should consider simplifying grant applications for these organisations to greatly reduce the administrative burden. Less onerous applications, unrestricted funding and covering overheads are all good suggestions to give charities the headspace to increase their capability and long-term viability. 

At Givto we’ve been laser-focussed on making it quick and easy for charities to sign up and don’t have any arduous hoops to jump through or laborious requirements that other fundraising websites or schemes might.

Debbie Fawthrop, manager at Aireborough Voluntary Services to the Elderly (AVSED) said: “It was quick and easy for us to sign up to Givto and we were delighted with how much was raised for AVSED. It will make a big difference to us as this year has been such a tough one to fundraise in.”

The exposure charities like AVSED have acquired in the digital world through our service has attracted new audiences that would otherwise have struggled to connect with them. We offer an equal platform for charities of all sizes and causes, and are more-often-than-not pleased to see our members choose the “little guy”, the small charities doing great things with limited resources.

At Givto, we are the first to provide a simpler way to donate to different charities of all shapes and sizes, each month. Our members sign up to a single direct debit and then each month choose between three marvellous and unique causes to support. It’s a great way to find out about charities you may never have otherwise heard about and support the invaluable services they provide to different communities and causes.

Naturally, many charities want to develop an ongoing relationship with a donor. They put a lot of focus on trying to engage with people and develop those relationships. However, this approach may not align with what many people want. With an abundance of charities to choose from, research indicates a growing inclination among people to diversify their support across various causes.

Givto emerges as a solution, enabling charities of all scales to connect with individuals who may want to offer occasional involvement and support without an enduring commitment or contact.

Let Givto join your fundraising journey by registering on our website today and begin your incredibly rewarding experience with us. Turns out, money can buy happiness!

Joanna Gresty

Joanna Gresty Givto’s content lead. Read more about Joanna and the rest of the team in our Meet the Team.