Overview

  • Small charities strongest rated skills in 2018-19 were basic IT and organisational skills, budgeting around projects and financial management.
  • Areas of fundraising such as major donor and legacy fundraising and public policy came up the highest in need of ‘significant upskilling’.
  • Small charities were less likely to need significant upskilling in running fundraising campaigns in 2017/18 than in previous years.

Where do small charities rate their strongest skills and areas for improvement?

  • Small charities were most likely to rate their skills as ‘excellent’ in the following areas: basic IT and organisational skills, budgeting around projects and financial management.
  • A third or more of small charities rated their skills in major donor fundraising (34%), street fundraising (35%) and legacy fundraising (40%) as in need of ‘significant upskilling’.

Do small charities have the skills they need to run fundraising campaigns?

  • More small charities felt they had the skills to run successful fundraising campaigns in 2017/18 than in previous years.
  • The proportion of small charities who felt they needed ‘significant upskilling’ in running fundraising campaigns has declined from over a quarter (28%) in 2015, to 13% in 2017/18.

How do small charities rate their marketing and communications skills?

  • In 2018-19, small charities were more likely to rate their skills in areas of marketing and communication as ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ than in previous years.
  • The largest area of improvement was in social media, where nearly half (46%) of small charities rated their skills in social media as ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’, an increase of 10% since 2014-15.

What would help address skills gaps in small charities?

  • In 2018-19, small charities were most likely to want further training to address their organisational skills gaps (46%).
  • Beyond this, 40% of small charities felt that visiting other charities, connecting with business or using resources from the wider voluntary sector would also help address skills gaps.
  • Small charities have consistently reported these areas as the most likely actions to address the skills gaps within their organisation since 2012-13.

insights

Workforce and Volunteers

How many people work and volunteer for small charities?

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insights

Small charities and digital technology

Explore data on how important digital is to small charities and their support needs

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Further reading

NCVO 2020 UK Civil Society Almanac 2020

Localgiving 2015-2017/18 Local Charity and Community Group Sustainability Reports 2015, 2016, 2017/18

Institute for Voluntary Action Research (IVAR) 2020 Small charities and social change 

Institute for Voluntary Action Research (IVAR) 2020 Small charities and social change: Executive summary