A fifth of charities will not be able to deliver adequate services at Christmas, survey warns

More than two-thirds of charities surveyed said they would need additional financial support to deliver their objectives in the coming year

Photo: Dinendra Haria/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Photo: Dinendra Haria/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Nearly one-fifth of charities don’t think they will be able to adequately deliver their services over Christmas as the sector continues to feel the pinch of the pandemic, a new survey warns.

The latest Covid-19 Charity Tracker Survey by third sector think tank Pro Bono Economics found that while 44 per cent of charities consider the festive season an important period for their annual income, a quarter expect Christmas donations to fall by more than 25 per cent this year.

And while 59 per cent of the charities surveyed by the think tank said it was likely they would be able to deliver their services adequately over the Christmas period, 19 per cent said this would be unlikely. 

In addition, 68 per cent said they would need more financial support to deliver their objectives over the next year.

However, just seven per cent of charities had used one of the government’s four temporary loan schemes, and only three per cent said they planned to apply.

As the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends at the end of this month, nearly a quarter of charities expect to make people redundant, and only 10 per cent intend to make use of the government’s new Job Support Scheme.

Respondents said uncertainty about social distancing was a major barrier to achieving their objectives. Two-fifths said that more certainty over future social distancing measures would help, and a fifth needed more clarity on the current arrangements. 

There also appears to be an appetite for greater collaboration within the sector, as just over a quarter of respondents said that more opportunities to collaborate with other charities would help them deliver on their objectives. 

“The data consistently shows a charity sector desperately trying to balance rising demand and diminished resources. The run-up to Christmas makes maintaining this balance even more precarious,” Anya Martin, senior research and policy analyst at Pro Bono Economics said. 

“With thousands of annual fundraising events like concerts and fairs unlikely to take place this year, the charities that rely on winter giving campaigns the most are expecting to lose out.

“It is becoming clearer and clearer that, without government intervention, many more people will be left without the help that they need over the winter months and beyond.”


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