Over a third of British people are unaware of local charities in their area with no knowledge of the work that they do, according to research by TSB Bank.
The survey of 1,000 adults reveals that although half feel that local charities play an important role in their community, just one in 10 are able to name two or more local charities.
Although nearly three quarters – or 73 per cent - have donated to a national charity or international charity, 20 per cent of people said they only found out about local charities when family or friends needed their support.
The research was carried out as part of TSB’s Local Charity Partnerships drive, in which TSB branches and offices across the UK advertised locally for customers, partners and members of the public to nominate charities and social enterprises to benefit from regular fundraising activities.
A spokesman for TSB said the research shows “just how difficult it can be for small charities to get the support they need”.
“Over the past year, through our Local Charity Partnerships, we have donated over £800,000 to local causes across Britain, which is equivalent to nearly £100 for every partner that works for us,” he said.
“The success of our Local Charity Partnerships is proof that you don’t have to have a national, big budget, charity campaign to make a difference. Lots of small, locally organised fundraising events add up to a significant injection of cash to the small local charities that support us all when we need it most.”
Half of the 301 small charities questioned said competition from the high number of national and international charities was a challenge to their fundraising activities – with 28 per cent of small charities admitting they were struggling to meet fundraising targets.
Half of decision makers working for charities with an income of up to £200,000 said an increased awareness about local charities and greater support from local businesses would be the most helpful way to support their work.
A spokesman for TSB said the organisation would continue its work supporting small charities by “ensuring their voices are heard by supporting them in the best way possible”.
Stephen Elsden, a trustee at the Small Charities Coalition and chief executive at Compaid, a charity which supports disabled people in Kent, said: “Small charities, like the one I work for, are the lifeblood of local communities and it’s always a challenge to find the funding that we need to keep going and to reach out to people who could benefit from our services.”