Our response to the latest NPC blog on small charities
Earlier this month, New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) posted a blog by Kate Symondson on "Why funders need to champion small charities". Below is our response.
As a champion of small charities for the last 20 years, we were very pleased to read a recent NPC blog written by Kate Symondson. We wholeheartedly advocate for the importance of small non-profits and encourage the conversation around how the sector is supporting them.
Time and time again we see brilliant small non-profits providing vital support to their communities while chronically under resourced. They operate at the intersection of multiple social issues, and are often too small to be found, let alone funded. So we find it very encouraging that funders like The Symondson Foundation are actively rethinking their processes to be more inclusive.
However, we know that many organisations on the micro end of the spectrum, even if found, will still be too young, too small, and therefore too risky for larger funders. And that’s where The Funding Network (TFN) steps in.
Our model of collective giving – whereby a group of potential donors comes together at a live crowdfunding event – raises early-stage funding for small non-profits, while sharing any financial risk and educating participants on social and environmental issues and solutions to them.
And as a small charity ourselves, we understand only too well the challenges our grantees face and support them in the most meaningful ways possible. This includes ensuring our application and reporting requirements are proportionate to the funds raised, funding core costs, equipping them with tools and skills to leverage further funds and to strengthen their organisational capacity and facilitating longer term connections with individual and networks of donors.
Often our alumni go on to be funded by larger organisations recognising the importance of the initial funding they received from TFN. From analysis we conducted in 2022, we know that 83% of the organisations funded in 2012 were still going ten years later.
So while it’s important to discuss how we change funding practices to be more inclusive and accessible to small non-profits, it is also vital to look at how the sector is strategic in supporting infrastructure bodies which are working at the grassroots, finding and funding small and highly impactful charities. Organisations such as The Funding Network act as stepping stones, bridging the gaps in the sector by complementing the work of other funders.