Demand for charities' services is up, but many stay positive

More than half predict a rise in income next year, according to survey findings to be revealed at International Fundraising Convention

Charities are optimistic about the future despite feeling more stretched, research published this week shows.

A survey of 316 UK charities by software services firm Blackbaud Europe will be unveiled at the International Fundraising Convention in Holland on 22 October.

Seventy-three per cent of respondents reported higher levels of demand for their services in 2009 than last year, and 69 per cent said they expected demand to increase further in 2010.

But 52 per cent also said they expected their charity's income to increase in 2010 compared with 2009, and 86 per cent predicted that donations from major givers would stay the same or increase next year.

Forty-seven per cent of charities thought they would raise more money through Gift Aid in 2010 than they did this year, and 46 per cent expected revenue from retail sales to increase. Fifty-four per cent said they expected their charity's spending to rise next year.

The report warns that charities would be misguided to think they will be able to meet the increased demand for their services. "The expectation of increased demand for charitable services is still disproportionate to anticipated income levels," it says.

Corporate giving was rated as the most likely area in which revenue would fall, with 38 per cent of respondents anticipating reduced income from corporate donors.

The survey also asked charities what their strengths and weaknesses were. They rated themselves highest on retaining staff, with an average score of 7.4 out of 10. The weakest area was recruiting new donors, with an average rating of 5.6 out of 10.

86% - Think gifts from major donors will stay the same or increase
69% - Think demand for services will increase in 2010 compared with 2009
54% - Do not actively raise funds online
47% - Think income from Gift Aid will increase in 2009 compared with 2008



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