NCVO finds charities more optimistic about the future

Almost a third of charity managers and trustees surveyed by the umbrella body feel good about their organisation's financial future

Charities are feeling slightly more optimistic about the future, according to the NCVO's latest quarterly Charity Forecast Survey.

Thirty per cent of the 139 charity senior managers and trustees who responded to the survey, carried out in May, said they expected their own organisation's financial situation to improve in the next 12 months.

The net balance of those that felt optimistic against those that felt pessimistic improved by 21 percentage points from the last quarter, but 37 per cent still said they expected their situation to worsen.   

Negativity about economic conditions in the wider voluntary sector over the next 12 months has fallen by a net 18 percentage points and pessimism about UK economic conditions has fallen by 28 percentage points. Additionally, 74 per cent of those surveyed said they still expected economic conditions in the sector to be negative in the coming year, with only 5 per cent expecting them to be positive.

The survey also shows that 46 per cent of charity leaders plan to increase their services during the next three months, while only 7 per cent plan to decrease them. Staffing is expected to increase at 31 per cent of organisations, and to fall at 17 per cent, compared with 19 per cent in the last quarter.  

Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the NCVO, said: "These results show a sense of cautious optimism emerging within the sector. With almost half of charities planning to increase expenditure over the coming months, it's good to see the sector is showing its determination to weather the economic storm."

Copies of the sixth Charity Forecast Survey are available from the NCVO here.

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