Charity leaders are feeling more optimistic about the sector’s short-term financial future, according to the latest research by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.
Twenty one per cent of respondents to the NCVO’s quarterly survey of sector leaders said they expected the "general situation" of their organisations to improve over the next 12 months; 43 per cent expected the situation to worsen.
This resulted in a ‘net confidence’ rating – the first figure subtracted from the second – of minus 21 per cent, up from minus 50 per cent in the previous quarter.
Twenty-four per cent of respondents said they expected to increase the number of paid staff in the next quarter, but nearly 29 per cent said they were planning to make redundancies in the next three months.
This resulted in a net rating of minus 5 per cent, compared with minus 40 per cent in the previous quarter.
Thirty-three per cent of respondents to the latest survey said they expected to increase expenditure in the next 12 months, but just under half said they expected to cut it. This was a net confidence rating of minus 16 per cent, compared with a rating of minus 43 per cent the previous quarter.
Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the NCVO, said the results painted a mixed picture.
"On the one hand we see that the sector has come through a very rocky year and feels similarly anxious about the road ahead," he said. "However, voluntary and community organisations have always been committed to supporting those in need, which is reflected in the fact that they are holding their nerve and doing what they can to face current challenges head on."
A total of 91 voluntary sector leaders responded to the online survey between 9 May and 3 June.