Fostering resilient charities for stronger communities

From 24 – 28 June, we’re taking part in the UK’s biggest celebration of small charities – Small Charity Week.

The campaign was first established by the Foundation for Social Improvement (the FSI) in 2010 to celebrate and raise the profile of the small charity sector. It is now delivered by NCVO and Lloyds Bank Foundation.

Throughout the week, we’ll be sharing inspiring stories from our community on social media. We’d love it if you’d like to get involved and help spread the word about our amazing sector and all the fantastic and inspiring work that goes on.

Our heartfelt ode to small charities

As Small Charity Week gets underway, we’re delighted to share a poem written by our Leadership Development and Training Manager, Mike Hickman. It really sets the tone for the week and celebrates the amazing contributions that small charities make.

Blog: Measuring the big impact that small charities have

In a new blog for Small Charity Week, our Community Support Delivery Manager, Carole Roberts, delves into the tricky topic of impact measurement.

She talks about responding to the frequent requests for help from small charities trying to grapple with this challenge.

The team is busy developing some support on this for small charities but in the meantime, she suggests several useful questions that can be asked routinely to offer you real insight into the difference you are making.

Read the blog

Small Charity Week Shout Out

All week on social media, we’ll be asking five questions designed to help our amazing small charities shout about themselves. If you fancy getting involved, just follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin and share our posts with your answer. Don’t forget to tag us in too so we can help amplify your story.

The five questions are:

  • What’s the driving passion behind your charity?
  • This Small Charity Week, why would you say small is beautiful?
  • What’s your top tip for running a successful small charity in North Yorkshire?
  • What would you say is your charity’s biggest achievement to date?
  • If you could wish for anything to help your charity thrive, what would it be?

How to get involved in the week

If you are a small charity, there are lots of ways to get involved. From 24–28 June, we’d love to see (and help!) your charity shine on social media. You could share some behind the scenes footage or photos of your hardworking team. Or perhaps you’d rather showcase members of the community you support.

Here are some ideas for the type of content you can share:

  • Photo or video of a staff member explaining what they do and how they help your community
  • Photo or video of a staff member / end user explaining why they love your organisation
  • Photo or video of a volunteer explaining why they started volunteering with you
  • Images of community members taking part in your services
  • Statistics about the impact your charity has. For example, how many people you helped last year.

However you choose to share your story, please make sure you tag us and include #SmallCharityWeek. We’ll re-share your story and help to amplify your charity’s voice!

There are also a programme of online and in-person events being run by NVCO throughout the week including:

  • 30-minute mentoring, an NCVO member-only event partnering smaller charities with a larger charity to discuss a current problem
  • online webinars to help you form successful partnerships with corporates and local authorities, and to respond to opposition
  • a panel Q&A focusing on digital and technology
  • an in-person conference, an NCVO member-invite-only event, focused on the role of AI in our sector.

You can find out more and book a place on the Small Charity Week website.

Small charity stories

Ebberston Village Hall

We (Ebberston Village Hall) are always looking for new ideas for events to organise that help to bring in the income we need to maintain our hall, but we especially like the sociable events that bring villagers together. To that end, we held our first village breakfast in January. It went down so well with brilliant feedback on the day and on the village Facebook group that we held another in March where we again served almost 60 cooked breakfasts in 2 hours! Another one is now planned for July.

As a small charity, our small size means we can act on an idea quickly. It is lovely to know that at each event we are bringing about a morning of conversation, helping to make and renew friendships and most importantly of all provide a true sense of what it means to be a community.

Low Bentham Public Hall and Village Institute

Our small charity is Low Bentham Public Hall and Village Institute, a bit of a mouthful, I know. We are located on the main street in Low Bentham. Physically, the institute constitutes a hall, kitchen, conservatory, meeting room and snooker room all of which can be hired separately or in any combination along with the use of toilets and a fully accessible toilet.

The building is well used; the Community Link Café, Helen Howard School of Dance and Kay’s art group are weekly users. Events such as parties and weddings also take place. None of this would happen without the hardworking committee, which is what I really want to highlight.

As an entire committee, we meet about every two months. The discussions and decisions that take place at these meetings are supported by an enormous amount of work ‘behind the scenes’. This work includes researching and making grant applications, keeping and publishing the accounts, energy audits and following these up, building maintenance and of course incidental fund and profile raising by public events such as coffee mornings and afternoon teas.

All the committee are volunteers and give their time in order to further the offer to residents of Low Bentham, High Bentham and further afield. Low Bentham Public Hall and Village Institute is not only physically at the heart of Low Bentham it is also in the hearts of its committee members and a vibrant pulse of village life.

Low Bentham members of the Community Link Café

The Island, York

The Island is a well-established York charity committed to supporting some of our city’s most disadvantaged, vulnerable and isolated children and young people. We strive to deliver impactful services (Counselling, Tuition, Mentoring, Youth Groups, and Educational Support) that provide islands of time and space and that unlock and enhance young people’s potential and quality of life.

Our Research Officer Ben has been hard at work putting together case studies about the transformative impact of our work. For small charity week, we want to share the story of Jasper, one of the young people we have recently helped through our mentoring service. Recently, our Research Officer completed a testimonial interview with Jasper’s guardian Paul as part of his Case Study Project. Paul felt ‘beholden to do’ a testimonial’ to give ‘something back because of how much The Island’s done for our family.’

When Jasper was first referred to The Island, he struggled with life; Jasper ‘had temper problems at Primary School and home’. He had a tough early childhood, receiving physical abuse from his dad, eventually leading to his grandparents taking him on as special guardians.

Shortly after Jasper’s referral, we matched him with one of our volunteer mentors Karl. Jasper’s guardian, Paul, explained that a flourishing relationship followed: ‘Karl is worth his weight in gold if you could duplicate Karl for every kid, that’s what you need.’

Jasper and Karl did many weekly activities together during their one-year mentoring relationship. They are both sporty and often played badminton and football together. Most importantly, though, their strong relationship meant Jasper felt comfortable expressing his feelings to Karl about his difficult early childhood. Previously, Paul had struggled; he ‘couldn’t get through to him’ on this.

Where Jasper was previously struggling, he is now thriving thanks to his mentoring relationship. His educational attainment has massively improved, and Paul noted how they currently get emails from his teachers about his positive academic progress. At the same time, his confidence and emotional regulation has also got much better. Paul puts these positive changes down to The Island: ‘The amount that The Island’s done for him you just can’t put it into words really, you would have to see the before and after. I always say that it’s got to be the best thing that’s happened to him. If you land on anything, then we landed lucky when we made that first phone call [to The Island].’

Community First Yorkshire help for small charities

We want small charities to flourish and continue to provide the vital services that are essential to thriving communities. We offer free, bespoke advice to small charities in North Yorkshire. If you want to get in touch please fill in our enquiry form or email

Below you can find some of our resources that small charities use the most.


Volunteering in North Yorkshire

If you want to involve volunteers in your organisation, but aren’t sure how to get started, we can help.

For more information, head to our Volunteering in North Yorkshire page.

Commonly used resources for small charities

Volunteer Management Toolkit

If you’re thinking of involving volunteers in your organisation for the first time, or wanting to review your current volunteer management processes, this Volunteer Management Toolkit is for you.

Trustee Recruitment Toolkit

Are you seeking to develop your board with new trustees? Many charities and community groups can find it a daunting process. Our Trustee Recruitment Toolkit can walk you through the steps needed.

CIO Toolkit

Thinking of registering or converting your group to a CIO? Our easy-to-read step-by-step guide will navigate you through the process. There are links to external sites and other resources.

Funding Toolkit

Securing funding and planning for the future is vital.

We can  help you become ‘funding ready, find the right funds to apply and submit an application form. Take advantage of the wealth of resources in our Funding Toolkit to help you on your funding journey.

Climate Change Toolkit

This toolkit brings together simple to understand and useful resources to help individuals, communities and charitable organisations take steps to reduce their environmental impact and tackle climate change at a local level.