Survey finds charities fearful of funding their objectives

A biennial survey from the investment firm Brewin Dolphin says income is the biggest concern

The report
The report

Half of charities do not have confidence that they can fund all their charitable objectives next year, research by the investment firm Brewin Dolphin has found.

Its report, Charity Investment: Navigating Uncertain Times, which is a biennial survey based on the views of 110 senior charity leaders, says that income was the biggest concern among charities, with 64 per cent of respondents indicating that this was a worry.

Service providers were found to be particularly stressed about the need for income, with 77 per cent highlighting this concern.

In contrast, only 43 per cent of grant-makers said income was an issue.

Less than half of charities, according to the report, felt that their trustees had a good understanding of finance or investment.

Forty-three per cent of charities said existing regulatory requirements were too demanding, the report says.

One in three charities were concerned by political uncertainty and the resulting risks to their organisation and investments, according to the report.

A quarter of them were also very concerned about the potential for a global recession, more than double the proportion registered in the 2017 version of Brewin Dolphin’s research.

But the 2019 report says that charities were found increasingly to be embracing ethical investing, with 77 per cent having ethical criteria in their investment policies.

Ruth Murphy, head of charities at Brewin Dolphin, said: "In October 2017 we found charities dealing with the uncertain political and economic environment at a time of reduced public spending, the replacement of public sector grants with contracts and increased regulatory requirements, placing pressure on operational and financial resources.

"Sadly, this year’s research shows that these conditions have not improved. Respondents continue to be concerned about funding levels, market uncertainty, low interest rates and rising costs, and face the challenge of ‘doing more, with less’."

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