Almost a fifth of charity chiefs think their organisations are struggling to survive

Research carried out by Acevo for the Charities Aid Foundation says the proportion rises to one in four among charities with incomes of less than £1m

Almost one in five charity chief executives think their organisations are struggling to survive, a new report warns.

Social Landscape 2017, published today by the Charities Aid Foundation, is based on research carried out in autumn with almost 500 UK charity chief executives by the leaders body Acevo.

Asked how strongly they agreed or disagreed that their organisation was struggling to survive, 18 per cent of respondents agreed, with 63 per cent disagreeing. The remainder said neither.

The proportion who agreed that their organisation was struggling to survive rose to one in four among charities with annual incomes of less than £1m.

More than 80 per cent of respondents said demand for their services had increased over the past year, with 85 per cent saying they expected demand to rise further over the coming 12 months.

Of those that said they were expecting demand to rise, a quarter said they were not confident they could meet the demand, with three-quarters saying they thought they could.

Other major concerns included a reduction in government funding, identified by just over a third of all respondents.

The survey found that almost two-thirds of charities had restructured over the past year or expected to do so over the next 12 months.

A third said they have reduced or would reduce staff numbers over the same period, and 28 per cent of respondents said they had or would be reducing front-line services.

Ten per cent of respondents said they had plans to merge with another organisation over the coming year.

Vicky Browning, chief executive of Acevo, said the report "provides evidence that charities are facing a perfect storm of rising demand and decreasing funds in a time of challenging economic conditions and volatile public trust".

She called on local and national government to work to protect the longer term capacity of the voluntary sector.

John Low, chief executive of CAF, said: "Charities are facing ever-growing pressure on already stretched resources.

"They are less confident than they were a year ago that they'll be able to meet this demand. In some cases they are being stretched to breaking point. Faced with tough times, charities are restructuring, reducing staff and, in some cases, adapting their missions."

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