19 January 2016

Your local charity is struggling to get its voice heard

  • A third of Brits say they are not aware of their local charities or the work they do.
  • Small local charities say increased awareness and greater support from local businesses would be the most helpful changes to support their work.
  • Over the past year TSB, with its Partners and customers, have donated over £800,000 to local charities across the UK.

Over a third (38%) of Brits cannot name a local charity in their area, and one in 10 (13%) have never donated to any charity, local or otherwise, new research by TSB has revealed. 1

Half of adults (52%) say they feel local charities play an important role in their community, yet only one in 10 (13%) people can name at least two local charities in their area, and only one in 10 (14%) help their local community by fundraising for local causes.

This could partly be down to awareness, as nearly three quarters (73%) of Brits say they have donated to a national charity, along with a third (31%) donating to an international charity.  By comparison, one in five (20%) 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 (50%).

Decision-makers at small local charities seem to agree, with half saying that increased awareness in the local community (52%) and greater support from local businesses (51%) would be the most helpful changes for supporting their work.

In the same research, half (51%) 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 (55%) do not have a fundraising target but of those that do, one in four (28%) are struggling to meet it.

Currently, small charities rely primarily on grant-making organisations for their funding (37%), followed by donations from local people (22%).  Only 3% mostly rely on local businesses for fundraising.

To help support small local charities TSB has moved away from the traditional, centrally chosen "charity of the year" adopted by mainstream banks and large organisations.  Instead, TSB gives its Partners the freedom to pick their own Local Charity Partner that matters to them and their customers.  Since launching its Local Charity Partnerships a year ago, TSB, with its Partners and customers have donated over £800,000 to nearly 500 local charities across Britain.

Nigel Gilbert, TSB's Chief Marketing & 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.

"As we continue to work with local charities in 2017, we want to ensure their voice is heard by supporting them in the best way possible."

Stephen Elsden, a Trustee at the Small Charities Coalition and Chief Executive at Compaid , a charity which supports disabled people in Kent, understands the difficulties that small charities have to get their voice heard.  Commenting on the research Stephen Elsden 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. 

"Having the support of a local business like TSB can make a really big difference and it would be fantastic if other big companies followed their lead."

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Notes to editors

1Consumer research carried out by OpinionMatters in December 2015 with over 1,000 UK adults in the UK (excluding Northern Ireland).  Small charity research carried out by ComRes between 25 th November and 17 th December 2015.  ComRes surveyed 301 small local charities by telephone. The sample was defined as registered independent charities with an annual turnover of up to £200,000, whose work focuses mainly in supporting the local area or region.  Data was weighted by broad region to be representative of charities in the UK. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Full data tables can be found at www.comres.co.uk .

About TSB Local Charity Partnerships

To find a Local Charity Partner TSB branches and offices across Britain advertised locally for customers, Partners and members of the public to nominate charities and social enterprises, which they believed should benefit from regular fundraising activity.  Nominated charities, which met the eligibility criteria, were then entered into a random draw and given a fair chance of being selected.   

TSB also encourages its Partners to spend a day, when they would normally be working, out in their community supporting their Charity Partner with their time and / or skills. 

About TSB

TSB was created to bring more competition to British banking - to be a real challenger to the big banks and to deliver the kind of banking the people of Britain want. TSB only serves local customers and local businesses, to help fuel local economies, because communities thriving across Britain is a good thing for all of us.

We have a simple, straightforward and transparent banking model and make clear on our website how we operate and make money. We offer the products and services people tell us they want, with none of the funny stuff people normally associate with traditional banks.

Our 4.7 million customers, award winning mobile and digital banking, nationwide network of branches and 8,600 Partners mean we are big enough to make a difference, but small enough to be an agile challenger to the entire market.

For further information about TSB Bank plc, please visit our website www.tsb.co.uk .

About Small Charities Coalition

Small Charities Coalition is a national umbrella and capacity-building organisation with over 7,000 members UK-wide.

They exist to help trustees, staff and volunteers of small charities access the skills, tools, and information they need to get going and do what they do best.

For further information about Small Charities Coalition please visit their website www.smallcharities.org.uk .

About Compaid

Compaid supports over 1,500 disabled and vulnerable people each month.  They support anyone with a physical or learning disability, or age related conditions. 

Compaid was founded in 1986 by Lorna Ridgway MBE, who recognized the enormous potential of personal computers to increase the communication and creative opportunities for those living with disability.

For further information about Compaid please visit their website www.compaid.org.uk