Charities are eagerly looking to find sustainable solutions to help respond and adapt to the inexorable turbulence and challenges of the economic environment. In the last report a number of sector bodies were challenging the Government’s cap on charity tax relief. Since then, the charity sector has seen a package of new austerity measures, Gift Aid developments and the introduction of pensions auto-enrolment, to name but a few changes. Add the UK’s AAA credit rating downgrade and the double (potential triple) dip recession to the mix and it seems the economic uncertainty is set to continue into the future.
Now into its sixth year, the results of the Managing in a Downturn surveys, produced in partnership with the Institute of Fundraising and the Charity Finance Group (CFG) and charity sector continue to provide valuable insights into how charities are responding and adapting to this economic reality. The results of this year’s survey indicate that charities and fundraisers continue to face difficulties: the fundraising environment remains tough and many expect it to get even tougher in the coming twelve months; the squeeze of falling statutory funding and increased demand for services that were highlighted from last year’s report looks set to hold.
Having collated the opinions and views of nearly 500 senior fundraising and finance professionals in the charity sector, overall, it is encouraging to see the willingness and ability of charities and their employees to remain flexible, resilient and – most importantly – optimistic, in adapting to uncertainty and change.