As the Social Media Volunteer for the Small Charities Coalition (SCC), I’m really excited to be involved with their latest fundraising campaign. Services Manager Lizzie and SCC supporter Alicia are running the Great West Run on 18th October to raise money for the SCC.
About the Small Charities Coalition
The SCC exists to support small charities across the UK, and is itself a small charity. Small charities carry out important work with some of the most vulnerable and in need people in the UK, such as the disabled, the disadvantaged, children and the elderly. They work in local communities to create real change and real impacts in the lives of those they help.
But lacking the resources of their larger counterparts, they themselves can often struggle, and need a helping hand to provide them with the skills, information and support that will help them to create lasting positive change.
Every penny raised in this fundraising campaign will go towards helping the SCC to support its 7,000+ members, each of which is a small UK charity with an annual income of less than £1 million.
I caught up with Lizzie about how her training is going and what the project will mean to the charity.
Why did you decide to run for SCC?
I love sport and play football regularly for a team but there has always been at the back of my mind the question of whether I could take on a challenge such as this. Then, someone once said to me soon after I started at SCC that I would never get anyone to run a marathon for SCC. I completely understood the person’s point however, that to me just seemed like they were setting me a challenge and gave me the motivation to look for an opportunity like this. So there is now two of us running two half-marathons in aid of the work of small charities across the UK and the thousands of beneficiaries they support, we think this is a pretty good start!
“This is such a worthy cause and will be well worth the training and hard work.”
What will the money raised help to support?
It will support SCC’s work for its thousands of small charity members across the whole of the UK. The money raised will contribute to us helping small charities in the following ways:
- Raising the profile of small charities to spread the word about the amazing work they do locally, nationally and internationally for their beneficiaries.
- Providing essential updates from our monthly information bulletins for those running small charities who have limited time and resources to keep up to date with the latest funding opportunities, regulations, news and free resources.
- Representing small charities at a national level helping their needs be heard by policy and decision makers.
- Very low cost training and networking opportunities for those running small charities who are often isolated and benefit greatly from peer support and affordable training to strengthen their skills for running their organisations.
- Offering a free skills matching service between our members and professional supporters who have experience in a specific area that organisations require help with.
One skills matching participant gave us the following feedback on the difference the match had made for them and their organisation:
“I remain enormously grateful to our supporter for her very helpful advice, wisdom and sounding-board provision. And to the Small Charities Coalition for providing this excellent service.”
We are a small charity ourselves, with limited time and resources, delivering multiple different services so the money donated for this run is essential for our work.
Before starting training for the run in October, neither Alicia nor I had run further than around 10km. We’ve both been training steadily over the last couple of months but really having to increase the frequency and distances now with less than a month to go. We have both run over 10 miles now and planning on doing at least one full half-marathon before the day. For me, one of the key things I’m concerned about is how hilly I know Exeter is! Training in and around London hasn’t provided many hills but Exeter is a very different city and that will prove interesting and an another added element to the challenge!
What has been the biggest challenge for you?
The biggest challenges we have both found so far are two fold. Firstly, fundraising for an organisation that is still growing its online fundraising work can prove difficult at times but is also a brilliant opportunity to share the work of SCC with a much wider group of supporters outside of the sector who would perhaps not normally have heard about us and may not know that we need your support. We have been overwhelmed so far by the support and interest in our organisation. We hope also that we can learn from this experience and pass on advice around this type of fundraising to our members too because if we can do it, other, slightly more conventional small charities can too!
“We have been overwhelmed so far by the support and interest in our organisation”
The second challenge is undoubtedly the training. During the summer months this was not too bad and a great excuse to get outside in the nice weather. However, now we have both noticed the nights getting shorter so fitting in the longer distances before/after work is proving quite difficult especially during extremely busy periods of time at work. That said, it’s still possible and we are both feeling confident that we can continue this level of training over the next month, and as I said before, feel it is so worth it for the support for small charities that we can hopefully encourage through doing this.
Do you have a message for those who have sponsored and supported you both?
Thank you to all those who have shown their support either by sharing our page and/or donating to SCC. Please continue to use this opportunity to share, promote and spread the word about the fantastic work small charities do and watch out for further updates as race day draws closer!
Please also remember that it is not just monetary donations that we would be grateful to receive. Let us know if you are able to donate time, expertise, venue space or other support for the work of SCC and small charities. We would love to hear from you! Please can I also take a moment to thank the SCC team, especially our Social Media Volunteer Arianne Williams, for their support and enthusiasm on this campaign.
If you would like to sponsor Lizzie and Alicia, please visit their Global Giving page where you can also find out a bit more information about what SCC does.
If you have skills, services or support you can offer to small charities, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or head to the website for more info.