Too Small to Fail

Reviewing the evidence available about small and medium-sized organisations shows their vital role in the voluntary sector. Rooted in their communities, they often act as a local lifeline, reaching those who are most in need of support

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This report was undertaken by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) and reviews the available evidence on small and medium-sized charities, and how recent changes to public policy have impacted them. It identifies characteristics of these charities including their role in building and nurturing social networks and engaging directly with those who are hardest to reach. It also highlights a lack of rigorous evidence to support many of the claims about their unique value.

Key recommendations include

  • Small and medium-sized charities need to be able to provide better evidence of their value and impacts. Whilst tools and methods for doing this already exist, more work is needed to encourage their use, and create capacity to engage with monitoring and evaluation.
  • Commissioning and procurement teams need to be made more accountable for delivering social value.


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