Charities 'failing to diversify income streams'

Research from the Third Sector Research Centre finds that few charities have a balanced income stream with different forms of funding

Simon Teasdale
Simon Teasdale

Charities are rarely successful at raising money from both voluntary and commercial sources, an audience of charity finance specialists heard yesterday.

Simon Teasdale, a research fellow at the Third Sector Research Centre at the University of Birmingham, told the Charity Finance Group Northern Conference that he had carried out research with other academics looking extensively at the sources of charities’ income.

He said that charities had received more advice in recent years telling them to diversify income streams, but most organisations actually relied predominantly on one form of funding.

"Very few charities have a balanced revenue stream," he said. "We found that as commercial revenue goes up, income from grants and donations tends to fall. As charities become more dependent on government, individuals maybe trust them less.

"Charities seem to feel it makes sense to put all their eggs in one basket. If they try to mix the two income streams, charities often get into a mess."

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Third Sector Research Centre

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