How do grass-root charities  break out of the hamster wheel and grow their capacity to make an even greater impact?


Grass Root Charities are often capped in future growth by the nature of being a not-for-profit.  Due to high levels of administration work and reporting to comply with financial, governance and regulatory requirements, they often rely on volunteers and minimal (and often overworked) staff not only to meet these requirements but also market, fundraise, govern, recruit and manage.

There is an expectation that operational costs are kept minimal to have as much of the donor dollar get through to the actual projects. The benchmark of the NFP industry is under 20% which is not an unrealistic or unreasonable expectation but this does not necessarily scale effectively for all size charities.

Almost two-thirds of Australia’s registered charities (63%) are classified as small, with annual revenue of $250,000 or less. Just under half of Australia’s registered charities (44%) employ no staff and are entirely volunteer-run.  Only a minority of charities are medium (17%) with annual revenue between $250,000 and $1,000,000, or large (19%) with annual revenue of over $1,000,000.  
If 63% of charities are small (less than $250,000) they have an operating budget of less than $50,000 and medium size charities ($250,000 to $1,000,000) have an operating budget of between $50-200,000.

Many of the key staff are expected to do multiple roles and often work very extended hours and become stressed, run-down and burnt out.

These smaller organisations rely heavily on volunteers which can provide other challenges when they are unable to commit to long-term and regular hours.  This can lead to a lot of time spent recruiting, training and managing volunteers and away from doing their own tasks. 

The inability to invest in people and programs that can help the organise grow their capacity keeps them in a constant chicken or the egg scenario of focussing on fundraising campaigns that require constant focus and attention for one-off donations, funding or grants with the limited resources that they have.


Provide a regular income that is specifically dedicated for operational costs and growing the capacity of the organisation in line with their strategic plan. Whilst these funds may be more than the 20% benchmark initially as programs and teams grow the ratio will improve to a point that we are no longer needed and the organisation has a solid and sustainable future.

Through our formalised program we develop and strengthen relationships and partnerships with Small to Medium sized Businesses that contribute both to the capacity building and fundraising for projects through a range of tailored activities.




Free To Shine is a child protection organisation that prevents school-aged girls being trafficked into the commercial sex industry in Cambodia. Their team of professionals conduct monthly safety visits and social work interventions, focusing on strengthening family and community systems to prioritise the safety and education of their children.

Gomo Foundation | Dovetail Charity Partner


The Gomo Foundation started in Zimbabwe, building partnerships with great schools that provide a high quality educational environment to propel exceptional young women into the world. They provide education opportunities for young women with potential, so they can drive change in their developing communities.



Shine Cambodia provides free education, from ages 5 to 16, and social support to the community, ensuring that when the children leave school they have career options to give their families a better life. An opportunity many of us take for granted.


Wear for Success provides professional clothing and work skills training to provide people with the best possible chance of achieving their dreams.
Wear for Success commenced in 2011 have helped over 5,500 people needing support on their journey back to work.


Just Peoples work in close partnership with small community development organisations across Africa and Asia.
Their partners are made up of local people who identify those in their communities who are most in need and develop solutions to the problems they face. These organisations are incredibly resourceful, but without large budgets they often struggle to access the money needed to make their solutions a reality. 

3000acres | Dovetail Social Enterprises Charity Partner


3000acres want to see more people, growing more food, in more places.
Since 2014 they have been working to break down the barriers to urban agriculture by empowering
communities with the skills and knowledge to grow fresh healthy food, enabling the transformation of under-utilised land to great community spaces and influencing the regulatory environment to make it easier to grow food in more places.

Want to be a Charity Partner with Dovetail?

Are you a Grass Root Charity with turnover under $2 million dollars? We are currently running our pilot program with a few Charity Partners but we would love to hear from you!  We think you are awesome and we would love to be the wind beneath your wings!

We can't wait to speak with you, we will be in touch by the end of the next business day!