For smaller organisations, reliance on grassroots activities like events and community fundraising is often much greater than larger ones, raising more than a quarter of their revenue from donations and bequests. So, in these unprecedented times when events are being canceled or postponed, they may be feeling the pinch on their already smaller budgets more strongly than larger charities.
Professional development is not often prioritised, not because it’s not needed or wanted, but because there are less resources to commit to it. So now, for many small non-profits who are feeling financial challenges much more than they have before, it may be harder to focus on educational opportunities with high-price tags attached. But now more than ever, learning new skills and pivoting with the challenges of our new environment are more valuable than ever.
Many small charities have solo or small teams, and more than 30% are based in regional and remote communities throughout Australia, so the feelings of isolation that are already so common can be heightened during times such as these. Perhaps more than ever, how we connect virtually and build online community is paramount.
One way I’m trying to help small charities stay connected is through the Small Non-Profits Alliance, an organisation I founded to help support small charities in their unique challenges.
With free membership to the Alliance, members have access to content curated with small charities specially in mind; articles, videos and research from across the web, as well as access to the Member’s Lounge, a members-only Facebook Group, providing an online space to connect with peers from across the sector digitally, 24/7.
Education is a key ingredient of a successful non-profit and the Alliance helps those working in small charities to grow their knowledge base with tailored online masterclasses in the form of free webinars, with the most recent webinar focussing on utilising digital newsletters as a way to stay connected to supporters during COICD-19 restrictions.
Members can also glean free advice from the Alliance’s Small But Mighty podcast, featuring interviews with real people working in the small charity sector, plus episodes recently added with specific advice for small charities during the COVID-19 pandemic, along with tips and tricks on marketing and fundraising.