Choosing a charity by size or location?

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How does a business choose a charity to support when there are 167,000 to choose from?

Emotion often plays a role when choosing a charity, but it shouldn’t be the leading sentiment. If you were selecting a business to partner with, you would do your homework on their management, their financial position, their effectiveness, their suitability.

It really shouldn’t be any different when picking a charity. There are several key questions you might want to consider but I am touching on two in this blog. Size and Location.

According to the Charity Commission (June 2017), there are nearly 167,000 registered charities in the UK. This rather surprising figure does not include voluntary, community and social enterprises (VCSE). Update: December 2017 – 168,237 charities.

Does size of the charity matter?

Difficult to say generally, isn’t it?

There are large charities who we have known all our lives. They have a brand, and know how to deliver a compelling message to encourage financial support. We know what they say they stand for and they do a great job within the arena in which they work.

We also know (from the Charity Commission statistics) that of the 160k+ registered charities only 6% are Large, Major or Super Major.  72% Micro or Small.

A surprising statistic perhaps, but that is what good brand management can do.

Perhaps another surprising statistic is that these 6.8% (the largest organisations) receive 90% of all charitable income. Micro and Small receive just 3%.

Quartet CF regional map

Is the location in which the charity works important?

It may depend on your business perspective.

But employee engagement should be a key factor in your choice, and local generally means more than national or international to your employees. This isn’t because we are a polarised nation. You can support refugees by giving to aid charities working internationally or by supporting local good causes working to help refugees settle here.

We all, as individuals, can see what is happening in our neighbourhood. We can read about the needs. We can hear the voices asking for help. And for some, the need for support is not just in their neighbourhood, it is in their own homes.

If you run a business with multiple sites, you may need to consider how your employees within each of your sites can enjoy the emotional benefits of being engaged with a charity, on a local level. This may be pointing you to the larger organisations, but smaller charities are more likely to operate locally.

If you are a one site business, you may be struggling with the time and effort it may take to find a local charity, and undertake the necessary due diligence, that is aligned to your business objectives and employees wishes

Quartet Community Foundation works in the West of England where there are in excess of 3,500 VCSE and registered charities, many of which are Small or Micro. Quartet provides grants to these charities who in turn provide valuable support serving the needs of all – in your city, your town, your community.

Quartet has developed a helpful guide that we call our Choices Toolkit to assist you with the process of choosing a charity. It should assist with some of your decision making. Or it may just lead you back to Quartet Community Foundation with more questions. Either way, we are here to help.

Note: Statistics updated January 2018