The sector's umbrella group for finance directors is asking charities to take part in research into the effect of the downturn on their finances.
The Charity Finance Directors' Group, working with the Institute of Fundraising and accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, plans to track the impact of the recession by asking questions on reserves, hiring policies, income streams and financial planning, among other subjects.
PwC will compare the results with similar research it carried out six months ago.
Keith Hickey, chief executive of the CFDG, said: "This research will highlight ongoing trends and pressure points that finance professionals can use to forecast and plan for the coming year."
Using figures from the previous research, which received responses from 360 charities, PwC predicted a shortfall of £2.3bn for the sector by the end of 2009.
The previous survey also found 3 per cent of charities were worried they would not survive the recession.