Report finds that children's charities will lose £405m of government funding over the next five years
Children’s charities will lose a combined £405m in local and central government funding over the next five years, a report has concluded.
The study from the National Children’s Bureau said a "significant minority" – a quarter of the 62 children’s charities that responded to a question about the possibility of closure – thought it was "likely" or "very likely" that they would shut down in the next year or so.
More than 70 per cent of the 44 charities in the survey that said they lost funding had responded by cutting staff, just under 70 per cent had reduced services and the same number had reviewed their fundraising strategy.
The largest cuts in government funding to children’s charities between 2010/11 and 2014/5 are a drop of £25.2m from the Home Office and Ministry of Justice and £10.7m from the Department of Education, the report says.
Children’s charities faced larger cuts in statutory funding than other voluntary organisations – an average cut of 8.2 per cent against 7.7 per cent – because a larger share of their statutory funding comes from local government. That sector is losing 25 per cent of its cash in real terms between 2011/12 and 2014/15, the report says.
Children’s charities are more vulnerable to public spending cuts because they are more reliant on public funding than the voluntary sector in general; 52 per cent of their income comes from public funds compared with 38 per cent for the voluntary sector as a whole, it says.
The NCB said the government should develop a strategy for the children’s charity sector, which should include ways the government and children’s charities can work together to use alternative funding models, like social investment, mergers and shared services.
Dr Hilary Emery, chief executive of NCB, said: "Shutting up shop is only a short-term answer to a long-term problem. While children’s charities themselves must be at the forefront of creating solutions, there is still a role for national government to put its weight behind the development of new partnerships and new ways of working."