Why Small Charities Matter

FSI’s Small Charity Week is one of my favourite weeks of the year. Charities, fundraisers and donors alike come together and shine a light on the smaller charities that make it great to work in the sector. With Policy Day to Volunteering Day, all aspects of charities’ work are covered. But why is it my favourite week?

Well, for a bit of fun, let me transport you to a world where I take a different career route, put on a wig, and appear in court in defending small charities and Small Charity Week.

~ Open scene ~

Yeah sure, you like the idea of the smaller charities getting some limelight, but why? What is so special about this week that makes you want to write about it? Why shouldn’t we just let the larger charities hog the centre stage?

Well, My Lord, jurors and people of the court, I shall enlighten you. Small Charity Week is something that’s pure and untainted – it’s not even tweeted about by Ricky Gervais. It’s an idea, it’s a state of mind – Small Charity Week is all of us. It’s our way to show the big boys that yeah, we may not have your financial might, but boy can we still make an impact.

Your Honour, may I present to you the defence’s first witness It’s in The Bag.. It’s in The Bag is a small, Bristol-based charity with a simple aim: to support men with testicular cancer.  They pull no punches with their messaging.

A quick visit to their website and you will see the ‘Ball Checking’ with a sub category ‘Check Your Balls’. A lot of you bigger boys (get your head out of the gutter), will skirt around the wording, with such phrases as ‘It’s important to check yourself’ or ‘Here is how to check for signs’.

Not our lads at It’s in The Bag though. Emblazoned front and centre on their site is a phrase so simple, so to the point, that it forces action:

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This is the beauty of small charities, they don’t worry about upsetting the apple cart in pursuit of the advancement of their cause – and yeah they’ll make a few testicle puns along the way (see Tour De Balls).But you’ll think. You’ll stop and you will think. And even if you don’t donate, sign up to a newsletter or start fundraising, their cause will have made an impact on you. And that’s what I like – the purity. They aren’t trying to grab a fundraiser at every possible opportunity, they want to help spread awareness and help save lives.

OBJECTION, YOUR HONOUR

Denied.

Thank you, Your Honour. Now, may I present to you the defence’s second witness, For Jimmy. Jimmy Mizen was a 16-year-old school boy from Lewisham who lost his life in an unprovoked attack in a bakery in May 2008.

Since his death, his family and local community have strived to make a difference through their work in schools, young offender’s institutes and colleges. They aim to ask big questions about the kind of society we want to be, and why so many young people lose their lives each year.

For Jimmy is Small Charity Week. They started from humble beginnings, inspired by loss and determined to help improve others’ lives. They epitomize what it is to be a small charity, doing absolutely everything possible to help spread their message and make a positive impact on the world.

And this is why Small Charity Week is the most important week of our calendar year. Because if we aren’t coming together to shout about these (along with many other  thousands) of small charities, then who will? The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

I know, as you will,   that much of the soul of our great sector lies here and should be celebrated every day, not just one week every year. But I, Your Honour, am a man of great compromise. And for now, I will take the solitary week nestled in mid-June. But beware, we will be back stronger and with more testicle puns next year.

~ End Scene ~

If this hasn’t inspired you all to go out and find a small charity you are passionate about, then to be honest you may be a lost cause. However, if you want to learn about Small Charity Week, small charities or even know a small charity that you would like to get involved with then go ahead. Start changing the world today.

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