Survey indicates more optimism

Fewer job cuts are planned, say interim charity managers

A survey published this week has indicated that the sector may be recovering from the downturn.

When interim management provider Russam GMS did the same survey of interim managers in April, 74 per cent of respondents said the charities they were working with were planning job cuts. That figure has fallen to 25 per cent in the latest survey.

The figures also show the proportion of interim managers reporting a fall in charities' income has decreased from 76 per cent to 72 per cent.

Fifty-four per cent of the 450 interim managers questioned were confident that the economic outlook for charities would improve in the next six months. This question was not asked in April.

Peter Kyle, deputy chief executive of chief executives body Acevo, said he thought the figures rang true. "This optimism is great, and it is encouraging to see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel," he said. "But I think the third sector has a longer tunnel to emerge from than the private sector."

Stephen Brooker, chair of the Russam GMS charity practice, said charities using interim managers were not representative of the whole sector, but the trend was valid because the same survey cohort was used both times.

"The movement is all in the same direction, which is very encouraging," he said. "Charities have done some serious cost-cutting, which means they are in better shape than in April.

"A lot of charities still need to do more, but there are real signs that the worst is over."

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