Charities in financial difficulty offered free decision-making tool

Charities facing financial difficulty due to Covid-19 can make use of a free new decision-making tool created by a law firm in consultation with the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.

The tool set up by the specialist law firm Bates Wells, aims to guide charities and social enterprises through a number of difficult decisions based on their needs.

Users are asked to answer up to six questions to receive a detailed report on the options covering insolvency advice and mechanisms, merger, collaboration, cost cutting, raising finance, and other relevant content.

The tool’s development follows a number of impact reports into the effect of the pandemic on the voluntary sector.

In June, Pro Bono Economics estimated that the UK voluntary sector is facing a £10bn income shortfall this year, and it said this week that as many as 60,000 jobs could be lost by the end of the year.

As a result of this, the number of organisations facing difficult financial and legal decisions is expected to rise.

The tool was established after consulting the NCVO on the sector’s needs.

Philip Kirkpatrick, head of charity and social enterprise at Bates Wells, said: “Charities and social enterprises are facing a reduction in income just when they are needed most.

"We have seen a dramatic increase in the number of calls to our sector helpline. We hope it’s a resource that many find helpful in these challenging times.”

Josie Hinton, capacity-building programmes manager at the NCVO, said the next few months would be extremely challenging for the voluntary sector. 

“Many organisations will need to consider all options, from cost cutting, collaboration to merger, to ensure the continuation of their services. This practical tool offers a step-by-step approach to help them consider their options.”

The tool is available here.   

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