Over four in ten of the 180,000 registered charities in England and Wales have an income of £10,000 or less per year, with smaller charities representing 84% of registered charities but accounting for less than five per cent of the income recorded.

Research has found almost 4 in 10 people in the UK cannot name a single local charity. Despite this, more than half the population believe local charities play an important role in their communities.

Publicity and good campaign materials can help boost fundraising efforts and gain a charity new supporters – giving a far greater return than the money invested. However, the cost of paying for this service is often still too great for small charities to afford.

Jo Barr, founder of social enterprise Jolly Good Causes, explains, “Smaller charities are responsible for a huge amount of incredible work. But we know from experience it can be difficult for them to reach new audiences, as often hiring staff or paying for an agency is beyond their means.”

“I created Jolly Good Causes two years ago to help address this issue, and we already help as many charities as we can for free, but the reality is there are so many causes in need of support and we don’t have the financial capacity to help them all for free, as like any business we have bills to pay.”

To celebrate their second anniversary, Jolly Good Causes have launched a ‘Pay It Forward’ scheme so they can provide their services to even more small charities free of charge. Businesses and larger organisations are being invited to sponsor a service so small charities can use them for free.

One of the charities Jolly Good Causes have helped for free is Little Gems, a small charity helping disabled children who require powered mobility. Simon Halsey, Founder of Little Gems said, “Jolly Good Causes responded to our request for help in filling charity marathon places at very short notice. They quickly got a press release together… hugely increasing the exposure we got for this important fundraising event.”

The free support is available to charities across the UK. Totem Horses, a not-for-profit equine rescue centre in Powys, Wales were delighted to receive some help, as Holly Higginbotham, Rehoming Manager  explains, “Jolly Good Causes asked all the right questions and really understood what we do, the problems we face and help we needed. Their support has been invaluable and we are so happy with the work they have done!”

Pay It Forward Scheme Gives Small Charities a Real BoostJo’s business partner Richard James (pictured, left) came up with their Pay It Forward scheme as a way to help more charities for free. The model is a simple one: they are asking individuals, businesses and larger charities to cover the cost of one of their stand alone services, ranging in price from £120 to £740. Once purchased, the service will be listed on their ‘notice board’ page on their website, and will remain available until it is redeemed by a qualifying charity (those with an income of less than £100,000 per year).

Richard said, “Larger organisations can give something back, knowing exactly where their money will be spent, and small charities benefit from the huge boost publicity can give to their profile and fundraising, so hopefully they will one day be able to ‘pay it forward’ and sponsor a service for someone else.”

Paying it forward in this way is a great way to support a small charity in a practical way. For more information on Jolly Good Causes and a full list of available services please visit their website.

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Nisha Kotecha is the Founder of Good News Shared. Having worked and volunteered for charities in the UK for over 10 years, Nisha is on a mission to highlight how amazing charities are.

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