Alliance brings together big donors and small charities for first time

Alliance brings together big donors and small charities for first time

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The Alliance's first ever Small Charities Dialogue Day was held in Edinburgh on 30th May 2019, bringing together a range of small charities with key donors including: the Scottish Government, the UK Department for International Development and the People's Postcode Lottery. 

The day provided an opportunity to share good news stories and hear about the experiences of three small charities, based in Scotland working internationally. It was also an opportunity to input members' views into an open and facilitated dialogue with donors.

Where available, the PowerPoint presentations have been made available for members on our Previous Events Page, as well as a summary of the Twitter activity from the event. You can also continue the discussion from the day within the dedicated topic thread on the Alliance Community

The challenges small charities face

Scotland has more charities per head of the population than any other UK region. Small charities make up the greater part of the international development sector in Scotland. 70% of the Alliance’s current members have a turnover of under £500,000. Many small charities have no paid staff, or office, and are entirely run by volunteers.  Many of these charities were established to tackle just one cause or issue, often in one geographical area, and they work with little public awareness of these objectives.   

Small charities working internationally in Scotland face a challenging operating environment.  The 2018 OSCR report on Charities, Public Trust and Regulation reported that only 16% of the public trusted international charities completely, compared to 49% of the public who trust local charities completely. The same report stated that funding remains the single biggest issue for charities across Scotland, but small charities cited volunteer recruitment most often as a challenge.

Moreover, the widespread impacts of the safeguarding scandals which broke in February 2018 are still being felt across the sector, the new requirements of GDPR are time consuming for small staff or voluntary teams and Brexit has the potential to decrease charitable giving, reduce large funding streams available to Scottish charities and deplete reserves if inflation or exchange rates fluctuate.