There are lots of reasons why people would rather donate to or fundraise for a small charity, for example, if you lose someone you love to a rare form of cancer, you might want your donation to find a cure for that particular cancer. If you call Cancer Research UK’s fundraising team, the person answering the phone probably won’t know anything about osteosarcoma, but at the Bone Cancer Research Trust they will do, and that can make a huge difference to the supporter.
Seeing the difference donations make is another big reason – so work on how you demonstrate the impact of your work in a tangible way. This doesn’t need to involve complex impact measurement frameworks; most people respond best to real life stories about how you have made a difference in their community.
Locality can be a powerful advantage– people often want to support their local charities. These days it's become 'cool' to buy from smaller, local, boutique-style stores, and this extends to the charity sector, particularly with perceptions about big charities and their fundraising practice following negative press for the last couple of years. That the Daily Mail, Telegraph and other fundraiser/charity bashers don’t know the first thing about running a charity or fundraising doesn’t change the fact that trust in charities is at a low point and that is focussed on the big charities where admittedly there has been and is some poor practice. So, if you’re a small charity delivering great work on a tight budget, why wouldn’t people in your community rather donate to and fundraise for you?