Three in 10 sector organisations that responded to the latest survey by the Charity Finance Directors' Group have made redundancies because of the recession.
The survey also found that many charities had reduced the number of temporary staff they employed, reduced hours for staff, cut back on overtime and ditched expensive pensions schemes in an effort to save cash.
The CFDG Salary and Employment Survey received responses from finance departments in 470 charities with incomes ranging from less than £1m to more than £25m. Most said they expected more difficulties in the rest of 2010. Only 28 per cent said that they did not expect the downturn to affect staffing strategies in the coming year.
Megan McInally, policy manager at the CFDG, said the survey showed that the recession was having a stronger impact on charities now than in its earlier stages. "This survey tells a different story from the previous year's," she said. "Then, there was little indication that the recession had begun to bite. Now the impact is much clearer."
Previous surveys have found lower levels of redundancy. One in Northern Ireland last year found that only 13 per cent of charities had made redundancies.