Charities 'less pessimistic' about the future despite the tough climate, report finds

Ian Oakley-Smith, a director at PwC, says the latest Managing in a Downturn study shows signs that morale in the sector is improving

Ian Oakley-Smith
Ian Oakley-Smith

Charities are growing less pessimistic about the future despite the tough fundraising environment and a rising demand for services, according to a report published today.

Managing in the 'New Normal' – Adapting to Uncertainty is the sixth in the Managing in a Downturn series produced annually by the Charity Finance Group, the Institute of Fundraising and PwC.

Fifty per cent of the 427 charities polled said they cut their wage bills in 2012, and 25 per cent said they made redundancies. But 67 per cent had seen an increase in demand for their services.

The report, based on an online questionnaire answered by CFG and IoF members between 7 January and 4 February this year, says that 93 per cent of fundraisers believed the fundraising climate got tougher during 2012; 89 per cent expected it to get harder in 2013.

Despite these difficulties, 46 per cent of respondents reported an energised or optimistic team and 61 per cent said they were optimistic for the future of their charities.

The report says that 85 per cent of respondents were exploring new fundraising options, and 39 per cent planned to increase trading. And it found that 21 per cent had merged or were considering merging with another charity.

Ian Oakley-Smith, a director at PwC, said the survey showed that charities were adjusting to a new environment. He said it also showed "some pleasing signs that morale in the sector may be improving".

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