On 16th December, to coincide with Local Charities Day, we released our second annual Local Charity and Community Group Sustainability Report.
Using data from a survey of 598 local charity representatives carried out of the summer, this report provides a fascinating insight into the state of the local voluntary sector as we approach 2017.
The last year has seen a continued escalation in demand for the services of local charities. Coupled with ongoing volatility in the funding landscape, this has left many groups fearful for their long term survival.
The report finds that:
- Just 46% of local charities are confident they will be able to sustain themselves over the next five years.
- 67% of groups were still predicting stagnation or a downturn in their financial position over the coming year.
- 78% of groups predict an increase in demand over the coming year, of these groups just 18% feel that they are sufficiently resourced to meet this demand.
- Reductions in staff numbers pose a serious problem, impacting on the continuity of services and affecting overall skill levels. 76% of respondents had seen a reduction of staff over the last year.
- 60% of respondents know of one or more local groups that have been forced to close in the last year.
- 77% of charities do not believe that they have the skills to run a successful fundraising campaign.
Download the Full Report Here
We conclude our report by laying out a number of recommendations for the coming year and beyond. We are particularly concerned about the urgent need to bring sustainable funding sources in the sector and to address the continued overreliance on under or unskilled staff.
We hope that the results of this report will not only inform our own work over the coming year but also inspire other stakeholders in government, business and civil society to tackle the challenges facing the local voluntary sector.