European charities 'least affected by the recession'

A third say income has risen in the past year

European charities have been hit less hard by the global economic recession than not-for-profits in other continents, new research shows.

The 2009 Global Fundraising Confidence Survey, carried out by training and consultancy firm the Management Centre, is based on the views of 126 fundraising directors and sector experts around the world.

It says that 50 per cent of not-for-profit organisations around the world reported seeing their incomes fall in the past year. But 33 per cent of those polled said their charities' incomes had gone up.

Charities in Europe, including the UK, reported an average income fall of 1 per cent. Asian charities have been hardest hit, reporting a 13 per cent fall in income. North America saw a 5 per cent decline, and the fall was 3 per cent in Australasia and 2 per cent in Africa.

Bernard Ross, director of the Management Centre, said: "Fundraisers have been quick to adjust to the economic climate, and our experience is that roughly a third of not-for-profit organisations are stepping up to the challenge of the recession."

Respondents predicted that arts, heritage and culture, scientific research and human rights would be the causes most likely to suffer in the recession. Those least likely to be affected were children's causes, faith and education.

Fifty-four per cent of fundraisers were optimistic that donations would rise in the next year. But European fundraisers were the most pessimistic, with only 30 per cent saying they felt confident that donations would go up in the next 12 months.

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