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Welcome to Small Charity Week!🎉

Welcome to Small Charity Week, celebrating the work of some 157,400 charities across the UK. You probably know at least one such group in your local area, or maybe you receive support from a small charity which has specific experience in an issue close to you. 96% of all registered charities are classed as small, with an annual income of less than one million pounds; most less than £30,000. Small charities are the backbone of our communities and of the voluntary sector as a whole.

In Islington, there about 1,500 charities, of which approximately 1,395 are classed as small. As Navinder Kaur, CEO of Voluntary Action Islington, said in recent interview with Islington Life, Islington has “historically been blessed with a rich and very diverse sector, with lots going on. It’s under pressure – as are other sectors – but there is a strong community.”

A recent report by IVAR noted that small charities “are the glue that help hold communities together.” They plug the gaps left by other organisations, are often the first responders to people in crisis, “creating safe, familiar spaces where people can receive practical support or be quickly linked to other local services because of the charity’s local networks.”

“As funders, Cripplegate Foundation and Islington Giving see this every day in the groups we meet and sometimes are able to fund,” Programmes Director Anne Shewring notes. “Our programmes aim to support the development and sustainability of small charities across the borough.  Islington Giving’s Make It Happen Fund offers awards of up to £500 for groups of residents and small organisations and has supported a whole range of activities, some of which have grown and blossomed into new small charities, including She Can Empower and Allie’s Art Club.

In Islington, there about 1,500 charities, of which approximately 1,395 are classed as small.

Islington Council’s Community Chest, which is run by our parent charity Cripplegate Foundation, can be the next point of funding for some of these groups, with grants of up to £5,000. Through this fund, we meet new groups, people wanting to try something different in their neighbourhood, as well as more long-standing small charities, who have been providing services essential to their users over many years. We welcome applications from both because in this way we can continue to support a diverse and vibrant voluntary sector.

In 2022, Cripplegate also offered some core grant support to a group of smaller charities, led by people from marginalised communities. These grants, mostly over three years, offered funding to groups which often struggle to fund overheads and running costs.

However, we also see how increasingly hard it is for small organisations to fundraise, meet rising costs as well as increasing need – and respond to funders requirements.”

“Our programmes aim to support the development and sustainability of small charities across the borough.” ~ Anne Shewring, Programme Director, Cripplegate Foundation and Islington Giving 

This #SmallCharityWeek we are spotlighting some of the incredible organisations serving our Islington Community, creating connections, offering supporting – and bringing joy to local people. We will hear stories from groups funded by both Islington Giving and Cripplegate Foundation, across the funding programmes mentioned above, including:

We will also be sharing a follow up blog from our Programmes Director, Anne, about the challenges small charities are facing, and how we as funders can support these vital organisations to thrive.