About Us - Raise Your Hands | Supporting Small Charities

About Us

Small charities transform lives every day. Their work has impact and yet they don’t get the funding they deserve.

Raise Your Hands exists to increase the impact of exceptional small charities.

Why small charities?

Small, well-run charities transform lives every day. They do work that has measurable impact, yet they struggle to compete for funding.

The largest 5% of charities in the UK receive 88% of the income. This isn’t just about redressing that imbalance. We believe that small charities, at their best, outperform their bigger rivals.

Our mission is to provide a sustainable source of funding for exceptional small charities.

Our focus is small charities working with young people.

Small is beautiful

Small charities are specialists, working in a particular field like HIV or suicide prevention. Specialism means expertise. And because they’re small they can be agile, innovative and responsive to needs, without the bureaucracy and politics of larger organisations.

Small charities often work locally, so they understand the specific challenges faced. They’re better positioned to build relationships in the community, and help those hardest to reach.

Just because they’re small doesn’t mean they don’t do work with real impact.

The Raise Your Hands Solution

Raise Your Hands provides two groups with something they’ve never had before:

For small charities who have proven impact and robust leadership…

We unlock income that would normally be out of reach. We provide them with unrestricted funding so they can build capacity and focus on what they do best – improving the lives of disadvantaged children.

For companies and people who want confidence that funds will be well spent…

We introduce a portfolio of organisations they wouldn’t find otherwise. Then we offer cutting-edge experiences, such as our flagship overnight puzzle solving challenge, Midnight Madness, or our social impact programme for companies, Dot Impact.

We do this because we want to see disadvantaged children in the UK rise and fulfil their potential.

Birds of a feather

There are many similarities between our supporters and the small charities we work with.

Both are independent thinkers who know that the biggest gains aren’t made by following the herd. They are rigorous in monitoring impact and effectiveness. They value creativity and strategic thinking equally. Both embrace the innovation of a start-up, with the rigour of an industry leader.

Our impact

Over the past eight years we have raised over £1,600,000 for our supported charities.

A small charity ourselves, we’ve punched above our weight and successfully brought about new approaches to philanthropic support.

Our Charity Insight Report 2022 shows the impact Raise Your Hands donor’s money had on young lives last year, through the 14 small charities we support (12 in 2021).

How we support our charities

1. Fundraising

Providing consistent and unrestricted income allows our charities to focus on what they do best- delivering frontline support for marginalised children.

2. Raising Awareness

We raise awareness of small charities that operate under the radar, so more people see the incredible work that they do.

3. Connecting Charities

A charity on our platform has access to a wealth of knowledge and experience from like-minded organisations.

4. Consulting and Direction

Through our partners and network, we offer pro bono consultation, helping our charities to run their organisations more efficiently.

Our Selection Process

How we select and monitor our charities

Our due diligence and monitoring process includes a stringent five-stage application process for all new charities.

Beyond checks on the fundamentals, we look at elements like the organisation’s impact goals and measurement processes, internal strategic goals and their management structure.

Then each year, we ask our charities to fill out a monitoring report, to track performance against their goals and keep track of any potential red flags.

Criteria for our charities

All of our charities work with children and young people in the UK, have a turnover of less than £2m and are not household names.

Through our due diligence process we are able to ensure that all the charities on our platform are among the best in their field. What they have in common…

  • Able to demonstrate impact
  • Use interesting and innovative approaches
  • Led by capable, committed, driven people
  • Operate with a strategic mindset
  • Sound governance, policies and procedures

Applying for funding

We regret that Raise Your Hands no longer accepts unsolicited applications for funding.

If you’re a Raise Your Hands supporter and would like to propose a new charity, please get in touch.