The English dictionary defines charity as the voluntary giving of help; most people associate this giving of help with donating money, but there are many other ways you can give to charity.

There’s no denying that the leading charities in the UK are amazing causes and great at what they do, but they often have big marketing budgets and a much wider reach which smaller charities can only dream of.

Small, local charities – who you may have never heard of and who are doing great things in your community – need your help too. 

Here are 5 reasons you should donate to a small charity

1. The obvious one - you get to help others

In a small charity, a small amount of money can make a huge difference. What may not seem a lot to you, may be a huge helping hand to us. Not a lot of people have indispensable cash, but even £1 or £5 can make all the difference – and you don’t even have to donate money. A lot of local charities like ourselves are always looking for volunteers to donate just a couple of hours of their time to helping their communities. In a small charity, it is also more likely that you will see how that money is spent – you know face to face who is being helped and can become more personally involved with the cause.

At Advocacy Focus, just £10 can pay for us to hold a drop in session to help vulnerable adults in Lancashire, and £35 can pay for a full hour, one on one support from a fully trained Independent Advocate.

2. You feel good about yourself

Giving to charity has been proven to make you feel good about yourself, but not only that – it also makes you feel more grateful too. By getting involved in a local charity, you are seeing first hand some of the issues in your community, which can make you feel more grateful for what you have. Giving to charity has also been proven to make you feel rich as it makes you realise that even if you don’t have much, you have enough to share and help others.

3. You can help increase awareness

Lesser known, smaller charities can’t afford huge marketing budgets to increase awareness. At small, local charities, less money is spent on administrative overheads and marketing than in larger charities – where as much as one fifth of your donation can go towards marketing and administration costs.

When you donate, fundraise or volunteer for a small charity and tell your friends, you are helping raise awareness without even knowing it. Even a Facebook post or two can be a huge help to a small charity!

One in two people who don't give to local charities say the main reason is that they are unaware of them, research suggests. When you donate, fundraise or volunteer for a small charity and tell your friends, you are helping raise awareness without even knowing it. Our advice; research local charities and find a charity that is small and close to your heart – even a Facebook post or two can be a huge help!

4. They are directly involved in your community

Small charities highlight issues that matter locally and more often than not, work directly to solve a problem in your community – which is not only much closer to home, but also can be much closer to your heart. For example, we have been providing advocacy support in Lancashire for nearly 20 years; we directly help people in the Lancashire community facing mental health problems, dementia and learning difficulties, acting on their behalf and giving them a voice to speak up and be heard to local authorities and services.  Whilst there are national charities providing similar services, none focus on the hyper local level of support that we give.

5. Helps you meet like-minded and interesting people

As mentioned above, donating to a charity doesn’t necessarily mean parting with your money. You can donate in other ways too – by providing free services or volunteering your time. Many small charities such as ourselves are extremely grateful for our volunteers and the time and dedication they commit. Volunteering not only allows you to meet new people in the community and make friends with those who share similar interests to you, but you can also build your CV, learn new skills and have fun at the same time.  

Thinking of donating to a small charity? Why don’t you stay for a while, find out more about what we do and have a look at some of our success stories. You can donate here or find out more about volunteering by clicking here.

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