The value of small: understanding the distinctive contribution of small and medium sized charities

Project Director: Chris Dayson
Project Duration: 2016-2018

The project was an in-depth study of the role and value of small and medium-sized[1] charities in four case study localities, which aimed to build on earlier data analysis and an evidence review commissioned by the Foundation.

At the heart of the study were a series of over-arching questions that were posed by the Foundation which aimed to provide evidence about the contribution made by small and medium-sized charities operating at a local level:

  1. Do locally-based small and medium-sized charities play a distinctive role in tackling disadvantage as part of a local ecosystem of providers?
  2. Are the distinctive features of locally-based small and medium-sized charities recognised by the people who use their services? How does the service they receive compare to those of other providers?
  3. What is the value for money and wider social value that a locally-based small and medium-sized charity provides?
  4. Have public funding approaches helped or hindered the work of locally-based small and medium-sized charities? What are the most effective ways of funding small and medium-sized charities to deliver services to those facing disadvantage?

[1] For the purposes of the study the Foundation classified small/medium charities as those whose annual income fell in the range of £25,000-£1million. This was the size range within which the Foundation made grants.

The project team also included Tracey Coule and Beth Patmore (Sheffield Hallam University); James Rees, Vita Terry, Carol Jacklin-Jarvis (Open University); Leila Baker, Katie Turner, Marilyn Taylor, Helen Garforth (IVAR).

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