Guardian Voluntary Sector Network Survey Warns of Tough Times AheadPosted: July 25, 2013
“Nearly one charity in 10 thinks it will not exist in five years.”
That’s the key message from an eye-opening survey by the Guardian Voluntary Sector Network which has shown that despite the increase in volunteering that we noted earlier in the week, many charities are extremely worried about the future of their organisation.
The survey of more than 1,000 charity professionals found that charities are bracing themselves for a further increase in demand for their support, but many are worried that they simply will not cope.
Asked about their prospects over the next five years to 2018, 8.5% said that they did not believe they will survive, and a further 18% were unsure about their future. More positively, three-quarters of charities think they will still be going strong mid-way through the next Parliament.
The findings of the survey also included a worrying finding about the relationship between charities and the Government, with 47% of respondents stating that they have no confidence in the Government’s approach to the third sector.
These findings are consistent with research carried out by CAF over the past few months. In December, we reported that one in six charities fears being forced to close over the next year unless there is a significant improvement in the economic climate. We’ve also referenced figures from elsewhere which have shown that charities have seen a 67% increase in demand for their services.
Today’s GDP figures – an initial estimate of 0.6% growth in the second quarter – will help, but as we’ve highlighted elsewhere, the combination of increased demand with spending cuts and a drop in donations means that charities are struggling to meet the challenge of doing more for less.
We know that many charities are implementing innovative programmes to save money and ensure that the donations they receive go as far as they can towards helping beneficiaries. We saw yesterday just how difficult things are more some of best-known charities, with Oxfam reporting a significant drop in their income – and we know that for many smaller charities the picture is bleaker still.
That’s why we’ve been working so hard to target a range of different audiences, and make sure that people, businesses and politicians are all doing their bit to Back Britain’s Charities. We’ll carry on pushing for change, but we need your help. Find out what you can do to help us, and make it that little easier for those 10% of charities that are fearful for their future.