Charities taking charge #StateoftheSector

With high levels of change and uncertainty in our economy and society, the role of charities is more important than ever.

During 2016/17, we’ve supported NPC’s State of the Sector research, exploring how charities are transforming to deliver greater impact in these changing times. With over 400 chief executives and trustees involved in the research, the final report, Charities taking charge, gives insight into the key trends in the sector from the view of charity leaders themselves.

The research shows that while some charities are adapting and taking the lead in new thinking and ways of working, others are lagging behind.

Charities need to play to their strengths, rather than trying to be all things to all people, if they are to have a bigger impact in these changing times. They need to be honest about their capabilities and focus on those areas where they can really make a difference.

Ian Oakley-Smith, Director, Head of Charities for PwC

Key findings

  • Charities are lacking focus, trying to do more of everything. Of the charities surveyed, 74% expect to do more things in three years’ time and only 4% expect to do fewer.
  • Charities are thinking about how they can collaborate more with others, with 52% expecting to be partnering more with other charities in three years’ time.
  • Governance is crucial to delivering impact and greater board diversity is needed, harnessing the skills necessary for the future.
  • There is limited understanding of what digital and data can achieve. 57% of digital strategies are managed at board level or by senior management and 70% are confident they are making the best use of technology.
  • Charities can do more to utilise the strength of resources that people and communities possess, supporting people to make a difference themselves and for their communities. 69% see service users and community networks as important and 56% involve service users in delivering services.

About State of the Sector

With the charity sector in flux, NPC’s State of the Sector programme explores new thinking and ideas on how charities can thrive in changing times. Alongside PwC, this programme is supported by Barrow Cadbury Trust, Ecclesiastical, Odgers Berndtson and Cripplegate Foundation.

Contact us

Aidan Sutton

Tax Partner and Charities Leader, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 7841 490 881

Follow us