Managing charities in the new normal: The latest instalment in our managing in a downturn series

As charities fight the Government’s proposed cap on tax reliefs our research shows that they are already battling to cope with increased demand and reduced funding and support. Despite the economic uncertainty and reduced income the charity sector is resilient and flexible. The majority of charities remain focussed on fundraising, although some are looking to withdraw reserves and are looking at how to invest funds more effectively, while some are looking at restructuring or merger as a means of survival.

Our latest research in our managing in a downturn series, produced in partnership with the Institute of Fundraising and the Charity Finance Group (CFG), shows the current state of the charity sector through the eyes of nearly 500 senior fundraising and finance professionals in the charity sector. It shows a sector in the middle of a major re-shaping that is testing the morale, ambition, energy and competence of trustees and senior managers.

Liz Hazell, Head of Charities and Ian Oakley-Smith from our Business Recovery Services practice discuss the findings with Peter Lewis, Chief Executive, Institute of Fundraising and Caron Bradshaw, Chief Executive, CFG.

The research revealed:

  • 1 in 5 were considering a merger to try and tackle economic difficulties.
  • 94% of fundraisers expect the climate to get worse over the next 12 months
  • 63% said they had been negatively affected by Government spending policies.
  • 82% said government policies to improve the sector had had a negative impact.
  • 70% said they were expecting an increase in demand for their services.
  • 73% of charities are open to using reserves in the coming year.