Something has got to give for hard-pushed charities
Charities are battling with an increased demand for their services despite being hit by multiple financial pressures, according to a new survey of charity leaders.
The Charity Forecast Survey, published today (26 June 2012) by NCVO, shows that 85% of respondents expect to either increase (34%) or maintain (51%) the services that they offer. This is in spite of the fact that 44% predict their expenditure will decrease over the next 12 months and 20% expect it to remain static.
The survey also shows a gloomy outlook for the year ahead, with 59% of respondents expecting their financial situation to deteriorate further over the next twelve months. One respondent said:
‘We are having to plug funding and caring gaps on even basic matters because of local government cuts that are stripping the most vulnerable of help and dignity.’
Commenting on the findings, Sir Stuart Etherington, Chief Executive of NCVO, said:
‘The charity sector has always done its best to put the people it supports first when faced with economic challenges, but there’s a very real and present danger that it will reach breaking point if the gulf between demand and resource continues to widen. The sector is already doing a lot more with much less, and something has got to give eventually.
‘The government has indicated that it is prepared to support the sector through these tough times. Schemes such as the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme have good intentions, but its complexity may prevent the very charities it was designed to help from reaping its full benefit. We all need to work together to create an environment where charities can flourish.’
Other findings from the quarterly survey include:
- 94% of respondents think economic conditions within the voluntary sector will be negative over the next 12 months.
- 61% say the financial situation of their organisations worsened over the last 12 months.
- 68% of respondents expect to collaborate more with other organisations over the next 12 months. Fifty-nine per cent expect to compete more.
- 86% of respondents think economic conditions within the UK as a whole will be negative over the next 12 months.
The Charity Forecast Survey is carried out by NCVO every three months. It is open to all UK-based NCVO members.