Small organisations are struggling for funding, says Navca

More than 70 per cent of CVSs are planning increased collaboration

More than 80 per cent of councils for voluntary service think the funding environment for small and medium-sized organisations is getting more difficult, research by local umbrella body Navca has revealed.

Of the 129 respondents Navca's second annual members' survey, 83 per cent thought the funding environment was getting more difficult for organisations employing up to 10 people.

Half of respondents thought council grants for local organisations would be sustained beyond 2009/10, but 34 per cent did not know.

Kevin Curley, chief executive of Navca, said the figures showed that the decline of grant funding was a major factor in the increasing difficulties. "It sends a clear message to us that we must keep up our campaign to protect grants," he said.

The poll also showed that just under 43 per cent of CVSs were aware of local organisations working in partnership or consortia to deliver contracts, down 21 per cent from last year. A third – 33 per cent – of members were aware of local organisations losing funding in competition with national charities.

Seventy-seven per cent of respondents said they were planning greater collaboration with other local infrastructure bodies, and 30 per cent expected their own funding to be subject to competitive tendering in the next two years.

But 52 per cent of CVSs were dissatisfied with the way in which Capacitybuilders, the government agency set up to improve the sector's infrastructure, dealt with their local or sub-regional infrastructure consortium. Only 26 per cent approved.

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