Charity Pulse: 'The good are getting better - and the bad are getting worse'

Efficient charities have stepped up to challenges, while others are struggling. Annette Rawstrone reports

This year's Charity Pulse reveals weaknesses in charity management, but the findings are not totally bleak. The survey shows that some charities are responding to the pressures of the economic downturn and working with staff to emerge fitter and stronger.

Frances Hurst of Birdsong Charity Consulting, which conducted the survey with Third Sector, believes such charities will be ready for the challenges, but warns of a polarisation in the sector, with other charities left struggling. "The good are getting better - and the bad are getting worse," she says.

The charts below show that only 6 per cent of staff who deem their charities to be inefficient believe that there has been an improvement in efficiency since the downturn began. Conversely, 45 per cent who consider their charities to be efficient believe it has improved.

Similarly, 58 per cent of those working in charities that they believe encourage better ways of working think that more emphasis has been put on this in recent years, compared with 9 per cent of those who consider their charities not to have this on the agenda.

Charities considered not to make the best of staff talent are not thought to be raising the bar: only 1 per cent believe their under-performing charity is changing. But 45 per cent of charities considered to make good use of staff talent are perceived to be changing even more in response to the downturn.

Charity Pulse survey results- Read our results on charity leadership

- See how charity morale has dropped

- The annual Charity Pulse staff satisfaction survey aims to build up a picture of working life in the voluntary sector and raise the standard of people management.

The online survey ran during March and April 2012, asking 46 questions. There were 579 respondents from more than 170 UK charities. The full survey is at


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