Short-term grants are hindrance, says report

Almost seven out of 10 charities say that a reliance on short-term grant funding compromises their ability to plan for the future, according to a Charity Commission report.

The report found that only 49 per cent of charities produce yearly or long-term plans and the Commission is urging charities to become more proactive in planning their development.

Nearly 60 per cent of charities do not have a long-term or yearly plan which ensures they can meet their commitments as employers.

The Commission's director of policy and strategy, Rosie Chapman, said: "While short-term grants, contracts funding and insecurity in funding streams can make it challenging, it's great news that nearly half of English and Welsh charities are planning ahead. We're calling on trustees of the other 50 per cent to follow their lead."

"We believe our findings are relevant to the Active Communities Directorate's work on promoting capacity in the sector," she said.

"The promotion of better quality business planning and predictive skills by charities can only be good news for those who benefit from charities - and for the sector's longer term future."

The report argues that in order to manage charities effectively, trustees need a working plan, based on an awareness of their charity's probable development.

It also says that they need an understanding of the social and economic factors that will affect such a plan, as well as an awareness of the evolving needs of their beneficiaries.

Neil Cleeveley, director of information and policy at the National Association of Councils for Voluntary Service said: "It's vital for organisations to plan ahead so that they don't get blown off course by events."

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