On Local Charities Day, small charities say they're pessimistic about the future

A report by Localgiving says fewer than one in every two local charities are confident they will still be operating by 2021

Small charities are increasingly pessimistic about their long-term futures, according to a report published today to coincide with the government’s first Local Charities Day.

The Local Charity & Community Group Sustainability Report, published by the local charities support organisation Localgiving, says that fewer than one in two local charities feel confident they will still be operating by 2021, and 56 per cent say their most pressing concern over the next 12 months is generating income and achieving financial sustainability.

More than three-quarters of small charities have experienced a reduction in staff and 60 per cent know of another local charity that has closed for financial reasons in the past 12 months, the report says.

Despite this, the report says, 78 per cent of small charities expect demand for their services to increase, even though only 18 per cent feel sufficiently resourced to cope.

As part of Local Charities Day, Localgiving is also promoting its #GiveMe5 campaign, which will match 1,000 £5 donations made to local charities throughout the day.

Each donation made through the campaign had an equal chance of being matched and anyone could donate as many times as they liked, the charity said.

Most people believe small charities have an impact

New research published today by the Charities Aid Foundation and carried out by YouGov shows that 64 per cent of people believe local charities make a significant contribution to their local communities, with more than one in four people saying they would donate to local charities and 12 per cent saying they would regularly volunteer.

It says that 56 per cent of people surveyed want local authorities to provide more funding for charities, with 51 per cent also wanting central government to make more funding available.

Grants for Good grant funding campaign

A Grants for Good campaign, run by the Directory of Social Change, the Charity Finance Group, the infrastructure body Navca, Children England and the Lloyds Bank Foundation, is highlighting the importance of government grant funding for the charity sector, which the campaign suggests could disappear by 2020 if the current rate of decline continues.

The campaign also calls on the Minister for Civil Society to become an ambassador for grants.

DCMS joins in the promotion

The Department for Culture Media and Sport has promoted several initiatives, including graphics and logos for people to add to their social media accounts, a #LocalCharitiesDay Twitter hashtag and a Local Charities Day "Thunderclap", which helps to coordinate online campaigning.

Rob Wilson, the Minister for Civil Society, said: "Up and down the country there are people working tirelessly in local charities to improve the lives of those living in our communities. Their commitment and enthusiasm often goes unrecognised, and I want us to change that."

Free webinars

The Foundation for Social Improvement is holding 20 free online webinars in 400 places across the UK today for small, local charities.

In the build-up to Local Charities Day, the FSI and GlobalGivingUK delivered another 28 workshops for 560 delegates in eight cities across the country, with the Office for Civil Society providing funding.

The FSI is also running a Twitter chat on fundraising between 1pm and 3pm using the #AskTheFundraiser hashtag.

The Directory of Social Change is holding a Twitter video question-and-answer session featuring Ciaran Price, policy officer at DSC, and Ben Wittenberg, author of the DSC’s Effective Fundraising report.

The communications charity the Media Trust has called on the media and creative industries to volunteer with the approximately 100,000 local charities operating across the country.

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