A call (not cry) for help! For those of you who have followed us for a while, you may already have heard us explain that we are a ‘small charity’. You may have also seen us mention that the past couple of years have been ‘a tough time for small charities.’ We apologise if we sound like a broken record, but we believe it is important that our community understands about the charity that is there for them. Of course, there will be those new to our community who do not know anything about our size or structure. So, what does it really mean to be a small charity and how can you help? Setting the scene ‘Small Charities Data’ defines ‘a small charity is a voluntary or community organisation with an annual income of less than £1m’. Alopecia UK’s annual income is around £300k, an amount from which we need to pay for our website, our events, our office rent & running costs, our postage costs, our staff wages & pensions, our awareness resources, and much more. Historically, most of this income has been provided by the wonderful, generous alopecia community. A community that has been committed to growing a national alopecia charity, to ensure there is an organisation for those who are struggling. We do not receive statutory funding from government. Without the support and enthusiasm of the alopecia community over the past decade, Alopecia UK would never have developed to the ‘small but mighty’ charity it is today. Whilst we may have a modest annual income, we believe we punch above our weight. Many people view our website and social media and believe we’re a charity with millions of pounds of income and numerous staff ‘departments’, when, in fact, we have a staff team of just 4.8 people (3 full time, 3 part time employees). What is happening now We hoped things would ‘return to normal’ when the world emerged from the COVID pandemic, but we are continuing to face challenges in terms of bringing in the funds required to run our small charity. Fundraising is competing with all the other things that people have missed over the past two years, such as missed holidays/breaks, missed celebrations, rescheduled gigs/theatre. We totally get it. There is much to catch up on. We are seeing a huge change in donations and fundraising patterns. The cost-of-living crisis is taking its toll on many of us. Fundraising for a charity at a time when people are feeling the pinch is tough. The reality is that we have fewer active fundraising pages open now than this time last year, during the pandemic, so even though the world is opening up people seem less likely to fundraise. Alopecia UK is not in crisis. This is not an emergency appeal. We hope to never be in the position of issuing an emergency appeal. This is a call to action and a request for help. We want to continue to do what we do best – being there for those who need us, delivering on our aims of Support, Awareness and Research. What do we need? We need your help! We need those who can donate or fundraise to do just that! We know that, right now, not everyone can offer their support. But it is so important that those who can help us get involved and here are a couple of ways you can: We would LOVE you to become a Charity Champion this September. A Charity Champion is someone who aims to raise awareness and funds for Alopecia UK. Find out more and sign up to be a Charity Champion here Or if you’d prefer to donate rather than fundraise, a regular monthly gift or one-off donation would make a big difference to our small charity. Donate to Alopecia UK here Your support now will help us to be here for as long as we are needed.