Economic slowdown damaging charities, survey reveals

Almost a third of charities have been forced to make staff redundant as a result of the slowing economy, according to a poll of charity chief executives.

Twenty-nine per cent of respondents to the study, by the Charities Aid Foundation and chief executives body Acevo, said they had made staff redundant because of the economic slowdown.

More than half (56 per cent) of those surveyed had offered "limited staff pay increases".

The survey revealed that inflation was having a serious impact on charities, with 71 per cent of chief executives reporting that their organisations' costs had increased. Seventy-five per cent said they thought there would be a recession.

Despite their financial struggles, 72 per cent of charities have seen demand for their services increase.

Thirty per cent of respondents reported a fall in individual donations, 30 per cent reported no change, and just under 30 per cent said individual donations had increased.Forty-three chief executives responded to the survey.

John Low, chief executive of the Charities Aid Foundation and chairman of Acevo, said: "This research reveals the economic quandary that many charities are facing – increasing costs and demand for their services against a backdrop of static or declining public donations."

Ian Carey, chief executive of the Barnsley Hospice, said: "The financial situation over the past 12 months has forced us to look at ways of cutting costs. We've extended energy-saving initiatives, fixed our energy prices and tried to cut down on unnecessary expenditure while increasing fundraising and grant application activities.

"We need to ensure that we work harder and smarter so that our charity can see through the difficult times ahead."

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