The point of awards is to highlight your charity’s valuable work and bring attention to the causes. There’s a range of awards available, so it’s crucial to find the most relevant ones for you.

If you learn which are the best opportunities, you’ll give yourself a head start to tailor your entries and hopefully win a few. Awards can give you vital exposure and connections that could be pivotal for your small charity.

This guide discusses the best small charity awards to enter, which include:

  • Charity Awards
  • UK Association Awards
  • Purpose Awards
  • CSJ Awards
  • Charity Times Awards

Best small charity awards to enter

Charity Awards

To have the chance to showcase your small organisation alongside some larger ones, you can enter The Charity Awards. They have a variety of categories available for you to find the right fit for your cause.

Some of the Charity Awards’ categories include:

  • Environmental
  • Health
  • Social care
  • Disability
  • Foreign aid

In addition to various categories, there’s also the Daniel Phelan Award for Outstanding Achievement for individuals who work within an organisation. 

The awards have independent judges who are experienced within charities and will mostly judge your entry on the impact you make

It covers all sizes of organisations, so if you’re a small one who makes a big difference in people’s lives, you could stand a chance of winning.

The deadline for entering the free 2022 awards is the 28th of February, but you can always prepare for next year if you miss it. 

To join, have evidence prepared of the impact your charity has made. For example, that could be a record of the number of people you help.

UK Association Awards

A ceremony that recognises excellence and success within UK charities is the UK Association Awards. In contrast to the previous award categories, these don’t relate to specific causes. 

The categories for the UK Association Awards include:

  • Best campaign
  • Best online event
  • Best association video
  • Best digital transformation
  • Executive director of the year

To enter, you’ll share the work from the past 18 months that your charity has done. It’s £75 to enter, and some selected winners will get the chance to talk about their work at Association Executive events.

You can put yourself forward for an individual award or your charity as part of project one. The ceremonies take place in December, and 2022’s applications aren’t open yet.

Purpose Awards

Another of the best small charity awards to enter is the Purpose Awards. They work closely with news organisations PRWeek, Campaign and Third Sector, so they can provide a great platform to share information about you.

The work recognised by the Purpose Awards extends beyond charities, and their multiple categories include every type of business. Across the board, though, they seek to appreciate the best in purposeful work.

Purpose Awards’ categories for charities include:

  • Best fundraising campaign
  • Best health cause campaign
  • Best public awareness campaign
  • Best environmental cause campaign

These awards are open to small charities, but you’ll also have competition from bigger ones. Fortunately, they are centred on the campaign itself rather than the scale. 

Even low budget marketing on social media could secure you a win with its creativity. The price of the entries are £530 each, and the deadline for 2022 is the 17th of March.

CSJ Awards

The Centre of Social Justice has an annual CSJ Awards to honour charities that help fight poverty. So if your organisation aims to create a fairer society, this could be one of the best small charity awards for you to enter.

In addition to showcasing what you do, the CSJ Awards also give four winners a £10,000 grant to help continue their work. So there could be a tremendous financial incentive to enter as well.

Split by income, the categories for the CSJ Awards are a level playing field for small charities like yours.

Those categories include organisation incomes:

  • Less than £100k
  • £100k up to £500k
  • £500k up to £1million
  • £1million up to £2million

It’s free to enter the CSJ Awards, but the judges look for projects that tackle poverty’s root causes or help deprived areas. The panel also includes philanthropists and politicians who may help your cause in the future.

The application time for 2022 has ended, but you’ll be able to apply for next year’s one in the summer.

Charity Times Awards

The Charity Times is a news organisation that dedicates itself to sharing information on the non-profit industry

Their awards are free to enter if you’re a paid member for their network. Or, it’s £199 if your charity earns less than £1 million (entries include a year’s membership too).

Some of the categories that the Charity Times Awards include are:

  • Charity sustainability award
  • Best use of technology
  • Charity with the best social media presence
  • Digital fundraising team of the year

With the purpose of the awards to inspire other charities, innovative practices are likely to be rewarded highly by judges. The deadline to enter the 2022 awards is the 19th of May.

Decide which awards shares your values

To choose awards to enter your charity, compare the entry costs and the competition in each. If any of the categories or values mentioned describe your organisation, it might be worth an entry.

The more awards you enter, the more chances you’ll have to win one. But make sure you follow the instructions that each one provides, as they may ask for different information.

Entries cost time and money, so manage both with Countingup

You’ll need to commit time to the process and set aside money to pay the entrance fees to enter awards. 

Countingup is a business account with built-in accounting software that can help you save time and sort costs through your phone. 

Its expense categorisation feature automatically organises what you spend into convenient HMRC-approved categories within your accounts.

Get started for free.

For more information for small charities, see: