This week is Small Charity Week, an annual event celebrating the work of small charities and the important contribution they make.

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has identified that there are over 136,000 registered small and micro charities in the UK, making up 82% of all charities(2). A ‘micro’ charity is generally seen as one with an annual income less than £10,000, while a ‘small’ charity is one with an income of under £100,000. In addition to these, there are estimated to be a further 600,000 to 900,000 of unincorporated groups and organisations operating in the ‘third sector’.

The data produced by NCVO identifies that most of the very small organisations work locally and predominantly in rural areas. This is no surprise, as here in Norfolk – a very rural county with poor transport links – Norfolk Community Foundation has regular contact with voluntary-led organisations providing the activities, opportunities to meet others, and local support, which we know to be vital to our local communities.

Smaller organisations need funding and the NCVO highlights that small charities have seen a 20% decrease in their overall income, while the income for larger major charities has increased by 30%. At the same time, the proportion of government funding going to small charities has decreased from 2.7% of their total income in 2006/07 to 2.1% in 2015/16.

Norfolk Community Foundation values the distinctive and significant part that local charities and community groups play in supporting vulnerable people, building stronger communities and unlocking potential. This week, when the spotlight is on grassroots groups and small charities, we are pleased to be able to draw attention once more to the fantastic work they do throughout our county.


1. For further information see the Small Charity Week website.

2. NCVO Almanac data: