Image 2023 08 08 T03 44 42

Small charities, (more) big opportunities

Search by
Search by blog tags

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

​Broader experience

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…

Greater exposure

…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.

The atmosphere

‘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.

  • Image 2022 11 26 T23 39 23

    Opportunity for all

    Find out how we’re working to deliver more diverse, equitable and inclusive recruitment…

    Find out more

  • Image 2022 11 26 T23 39 23

    Recruiting a charity CEO?

    Our executive recruitment specialists have an exceptional record of successful CEO, chair, trustee and…

    Find out more

  • The Harris Hill Salary Survey 2023

    Charity sector salaries

    Check out the market rate for your charity role in the latest Harris Hill Salary Survey.

    View our latest survey

News and insights

For more careers and recruitment advice: Read the Harris Hill Blog
Blogthumb Final

Thinking of temping? Here’s what to consider…

Temping offers flexibility, variety and a chance to boost your CV - but is it right for you?​ Hear from current Harris Hill temps as freelance writer and guest blogger Nicola Greenbrook explores...Do you ever catch yourself gazing out of the window, dreaming about a work life that breaks away from the conventional nine-to-five? Are you someone with multiple interests and many interconnecting ca...

Read more
Blog Thumb 2

Celebrating UK charity jobs for UK Charity Week 2023!

It's UK Charity Week 2023, so join us for a whirlwind festive tour of some of the best opportunities with charities around the country!​Yes, even though it feels about 30 seconds since you bundled last year’s decorations into an overstuffed box in the loft*, it’s December already, which means it’s time to get them down but more importantly, time for UK Charity Week 2023, celebrating the brillia...

Read more
B Corp Blogthumb Final

Harris Hill is now a Certified B Corporation

We're delighted to share the news that Harris Hill is now B Corp Certified! It makes us part of a global community of businesses meeting high standards of social and environmental impact, accountability and transparency, and leading the transformation of the global economic system. That's a big ambition, but at the simplest level, being certified is recognition that we're here for the right rea...

Read more
Blogthumb 2

Access all areas: how to use the Recite Me toolbar

As part of our diversity and inclusion strategy, the Harris Hill website now features the award-winning Recite Me assistive toolbar, providing a wide range of accessibility and language support tools for a more inclusive online experience. Here’s an overview of the benefits and how to use it.​There’s a lot to look out for when you’re searching for a new job online. In most cases, you'll actual...

Read more

Meet the 2023 Charity Softball finalists!

​Landing just ahead of the big day and 20th anniversary celebrations, meet the teams playing for glory in the 2023 Charity Softball League!Like any other year, 2003 gave the world some things we’d rather it hadn’t - war in Iraq, the SARS outbreak, the Black Eyed Peas – but over the course of that long hot summer, it also gave us (courtesy of founding father Leo Visconti) something we’re very gl...

Read more
Finance Blog Thumb

2023 Salary Survey: finance market trends

They’re certainly earning their keep in these financially-challenging times, but are charity finance professionals securing higher salaries and what’s happening in the market? Here’s what our finance experts have to say on the subject, updated from our 2023 Salary Survey, which you can view or download below for all the figures.​​​​​​Finance market trendsTo the world of charity finance now, whe...

Read more
Blogthumb Final2

How to secure new talent (without spending a fortune)

Candidate scarcity and high inflation have made securing new staff more challenging (and expensive) than ever, but there ARE ways to improve your hiring prospects that needn't cost a thing...(updated and extended from the 2023 Harris Hill Salary Survey)Beyond the world of marketing, where they grow on carefully-branded trees, our 2023 Salary Survey finds candidates in short supply and high dema...

Read more
Temps Blog Thumb

Considering hiring a temp? Here’s what you need to know…

​Hiring temps is a flexible and cost-effective way to fill gaps and bring in extra resource or skills, but if you haven't before, where should you start and what are the benefits? Freelance writer and HR specialist Nicola Greenbrook talks us through everything you need to know.What is a temp?A temporary agency worker or ‘temp’ differs from a permanent member of staff as, rather than being direc...

Read more