Big journeys begin with small steps, say people who’ve never hiked to the furthest departure gates for a budget flight from Gatwick.
But thinking small can often be a smart move when it comes to your choice of employer, so in celebration of Small Charity Week, we're sharing six good reasons to join a small charity and ten fantastic opportunities to do so.
There’s a lot to be said for working for a small charity, much of which we said in our article 'Should you be working for a large or small charity?' back in early 2020.
But by way of a brief(ish) summary, because life is short and you've got more than enough to do, we give you...
Six reasons to work for a small charity
Small charities don’t have the luxury of hiring different people for every different job, so your job title may just be the start of what you do. With fewer people on board, it’s all hands on deck, so a fundraiser, for example, will probably work across multiple revenue streams, and may get involved in marketing, managing events and many more areas of the charity’s work.
Will you be busy? Yes. Will you curse yourself for volunteering to do far too many things at once? Also yes. Will you ever be bored? Impossible. When would you find the time?
Greater autonomy and responsibility
If you’re a digital team of one, guess who’s making the decisions on digital strategy?
If you’re used to your brilliant ideas having to pass through five layers of people for approval, each finding new and creative ways to ruin it with 'helpful suggestions', you’ll find the speed and simplicity of decision-making both liberating and exhilarating…
…which can sometimes be a little scary, as there’s nowhere to hide if it all goes horribly wrong. But the upside - unlike larger organisations where your achievements can often blur into those of the wider team – is that whatever you do will be recognised, giving you full credit where it’s due.
Flexibility and speed
In the nautical world, as we learned last year when everyone’s internet shopping got stuck in the Suez Canal, larger vessels find it harder to change course, and the same is true of most organisations.
With fewer people in a smaller area, small charities can often be more agile and respond more quickly when things change – in the same way a squirrel can scamper up a tree at the first sign of trouble, but when you try it as an elephant, it tends not to end quite so well.
Being close to the action
Working at the head office of a major charity can sometimes feel half a world away from the people you’re trying to help, which is often because it is.
In a small charity however, you’re more likely to have direct contact with beneficiaries and supporters, getting to see the difference you’re making first-hand.
‘We’re like one big happy family!’ say all kinds of alarming organisations. But if they're anything like actual families, it can only be so big before you start getting factions and tribes, meeting up with smiles all round at Christmas while secretly plotting each other’s demise. Or at least, a sustained programme of ‘not being very helpful to’.
But whether it’s just the numbers, proximity, or the camaraderie of pitching in together to get things done, small charities do seem particularly good at fostering a genuinely friendly environment.
Ten of the best
If a small charity sounds like the right kind of place for you, read on: here are ten great opportunities we currently have* with fantastic small charities around the UK.
*The vacancies featured in this blog have all since expired, so we've deleted them here, but you'll find plenty of new opportunities in our jobs section here.
Opportunity for all
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Charity sector salaries
Check out the market rate for your charity role in the latest Harris Hill Salary Survey.
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