Seven out of 10 charities say they have experienced an increase in demand for their services over the past year and more than a quarter say they are unable to meet current demands, according to a new study.
Managing in the New Normal, the eighth in a series of annual reports on the effects of the financial downturn on the voluntary sector, has been published by the Institute of Fundraising, the Charity Finance Group and the professional services firm PwC. It reveals that 70 per cent of respondents said they had experienced an increase in demand for their services over the past year, up from 65 per cent in the previous study.
Smaller charities have been the worst affected by the increase in demand, the report says.
The report, which is based on a survey of more than 400 CFG and IoF members carried out online between December and January, says 28 per cent of respondents said their organisation was unable to meet the current demands on their services, up from 16 per cent in the previous year.
It says that 70 per cent expected demand to increase over the coming year.
Researchers also compiled an "anxiety index" based on charities’ expectations of their income streams, which shows there is a feeling of cautious optimism in the sector. But the report warns that it is crucial for charities not to become complacent.
According to the report, 61 per cent of respondents said their charity had taken steps to improve transparency, up from 50 per cent last year.
It says 83 per cent of respondents said their appetite for repayable finance had not changed. There was a slight increase in the proportion of charities that said their appetite for it had increased, up from 13 per cent last year to 15 per cent in the latest study.