Financial optimism grows among charity leaders

Staff cuts less likely in the months ahead, predict chief executives responding to NCVO's Charity Forecast survey

Charity leaders are slightly more optimistic about the financial situation than they were three months ago, according to the latest Charity Forecast from the NCVO.

In a poll of 139 charity chief executives, senior staff and chairs, carried out in August, the NCVO found that 42 per cent expected their charities' financial situation to worsen in the coming quarter, a fall of five percentage points from the survey carried out in May.

The proportion of charities expecting to cut their paid staffing levels over the next quarter fell from 17 per cent in May to 12 per cent in August.

But the proportion of respondents expecting to increase staffing levels over the same period fell three percentage points to 28 per cent.

Eighty-one per cent of respondents expected the sector to face tough economic conditions over the next three months, up from 74 per cent.

Forty-two per cent said they planned to increase services - down four percentage points on May - and 40 per cent said they would increase expenditure.

Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the NCVO, said: "It is encouraging that charities are reaching out to even more people in need despite facing tough times."

Third Sector reported earlier this week that a survey of charity interim managers showed  that fewer charities were planning job cuts than when the survey was last conducted in April. The figure fell from 74 per cent to 25 per cent.

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