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Ten Charity Startups To Give To

Game-changing small charities that could change the world. 

The Fore

Mary Rose Gunn, CEO, The Fore

The Fore, a non-profit, brings together businesses and philanthropists to turbo-charge exceptional small charities transforming lives and society. Together they have already distributed over £8 million in grant funding and 12,500 hours of skills support to nearly 600 small charities and social enterprises. Mary Rose Gunn is chief executive and founder of The Fore and has been a pioneer in the grant-making space since 2012. Here, Gunn shares 10 of her most innovative and game-changing UK and international small charities (turnover under £0.5 million) that she believes will deliver incredible impact in the world.


Azuko uses the power of architecture, design and civil engineering skills to end housing poverty in north-west Bangladesh. The charity uses these tools to co-design, alongside local communities, means to tackle extreme poverty, especially in rural areas, where people often live in hazardous environments. Azuko tackles these issues through a series of distinct projects, developed with the locals, mainly women. The charity champions co-design by involving many stakeholders in the design and delivery of projects. Together, they build educational play spaces for disadvantaged children, double-storey bamboo houses in slums, toilets for families with no access to safe sanitation and infrastructure improvements to bring clean, fresh water to whole neighbourhoods in the region. 

Cody Dock 

Cody Dock is a small community charity transforming an abandoned two-acre patch of the Lower Lea River in East London into a bustling creative industries quarter with community gardens, conservation and footpaths. Before Cody Dock, the river was shut off to the public and had a reputation for being one of the most polluted areas in the UK. In 2017, the founder of Cody Dock convened hundreds of volunteers on a clean-up operation worth £2 million, which eventually led to its acquisition of the site. 

Concrete Jungle Foundation 

Concrete Jungle is an innovative non-profit that works to empower young people and communities worldwide through fostering and sustaining the positive values inherent to skateboarding. It teaches resilience, co-operative learning and life skills, and provide a source of fun and freedom. The organisation partners with the most recognised skatepark builders in the world to provide professionally built, world-class concrete skateparks, free of charge to communities, to promote health and well-being, access to education, community development, gender equality and economic growth. With sites in Peru, Morocco, Angola, and Jamaica, the foundation builds skateparks as youth centres. 


Ersilia open-source initiative is an international tech non-profit organisation that aims to offer more equitable access to healthcare by equipping universities, hospitals, laboratories, and clinics in low-resourced countries with artificial intelligence (AI) tools to carry out infectious and neglected disease research. Focusing on southern Africa, the organisation’s accessible AI and capacity-building initiatives strengthen local capability to tackle the health needs of their own people. 


Escapeline is a small charity committed to the prevention of child exploitation by gangs across the south-west of England, keeping children safe from illegal mistreatment and grooming in rural communities most at risk. For years, thousands of children have been exploited through the practice of county lines, in which highly organised urban gangs take over provincial drugs markets. County-line gangs are increasing their operations to recruit local youngsters from small towns rather than the big cities and south-west England has been particularly targeted. Escapeline helps young people to stay safe by educating them about how child exploitation and grooming works in their local area and teaching protective strategies. It strengthens community knowledge by running awareness-raising campaigns and it helps the families of exploited young people, and those at risk of exploitation, through non-judgemental support and mentoring. 

Innovating Minds CIC 

Innovating Minds is an award-winning social enterprise that works to ensure children and young people with emotional and mental health needs are supported at the earliest point possible. It was set up in 2016 to provide accessible psychological support for disadvantaged young people within the school environment. It focuses on children aged 11-16, when psychological intervention can be most beneficial. Innovating Minds also works with young people who have experienced domestic abuse or trauma. Its recent impact report showed that high risk behaviour, such as assault and use of a weapon, decreased by 90 per cent in the schools it worked with. 

Plant Your Future 

Plant Your Future based in London has been working in the Peruvian Amazon since 2009 improving the livelihood and sustainability of rainforest subsistence farmers. Its overarching goal is to reduce poverty for farming communities by diversifying smallholder farmers’ income streams while mitigating climate change and protecting high conservation value forest. In the Peruvian Amazon there was an estimated 7.9 million hectares (equivalent to the size of Scotland) of deforestation from 2000-2010 due to rural farmers growing low-value crops on cleared land or grazing low density cattle on degraded pastures. Since the charity was established, it has planted over 150,000 trees, restoring 150 hectares of deforested land. 


Restart is a young and dynamic social enterprise promoting the well-being of those in prison, leaving prison, their family members, support networks and anyone in the local community affected by imprisonment. Its mission is to support those navigating the judicial and educational systems, while providing information and preventative programmes that help youth establish a positive perspective on life and a chance for a brighter future. The organisation is unique in its approach, combining welfare services to prisoners and ex-prisoners with a social enterprise model where beneficiaries can also develop employability skills. 

Safe Soulmates 

Safe Soulmates is a young and dynamic social enterprise that aims to end loneliness for adults with additional needs, including learning disabilities, autism, anxiety, and other health conditions that make finding friendships and relationships difficult. Its membership-based service provides in-person and social events, chaperoning for friendship/date matches and guidance for members on building safe and healthy relationships. 


One in three people worldwide do not have the luxury of having waste taken away, and as a result they are left to dump or burn their waste, exacerbating the global public health and environmental waste crisis. WasteAid provides simple and cost-effective community waste management to combat this problem. In partnership with well-established local organisations, it trains local people to manage waste in a safe and affordable way and supports people to become self-employed recycling entrepreneurs generating economic value from waste materials. 

This article originally appeared in Billionaire's Impact Issue. To subscribe, click here.