Three-quarters of charities expect demand for services to continue to rise next year

Three-quarters of charities expect demand for their services to rise over the next year while more than 80 per cent expect income to fall, new figures indicate. 

Latest data from the research charity Pro Bono Economics’ monthly Covid-19 charity tracker shows that 36 per cent of charity respondents said they expected demand for their services to increase by up to 25 per cent over the next year compared with pre-pandemic expectations. 

A further 26 per cent said they expected a rise in demand of between 26 per cent and 50 per cent, while eight per cent expected an increase of more than 50 per cent. 

The survey, which included responses from 216 charities, found that four per cent of respondents said they thought demand would be more than 75 per cent higher than before the crisis. 

At the same time, more than 80 per cent of respondents said they expected income to fall over the next year. 

Half of respondents expect income to be down by up to 25 per cent, 21 per cent said they thought it would fall by between a quarter and a half, and 10 per cent said they thought it would drop by between 50 per cent and 75 per cent. 

Three per cent of respondents said they expected income to be down by more than 75 per cent over the next year. 

Almost half of thecharities surveyed said they expected it would take between one and two years for income to return to pre-pandemic levels, with a quarter saying they thought it would take more than two years. 

Matt Whittaker, chief executive of Pro Bono Economics, said: “Charities have demand for their support coming from every direction, and it shows no signs of dissipating. 

“Challenges that existed before the pandemic have not gone away. The fallout we see today in terms of isolation and mental ill-health is expected to continue. Then there are backlogs to tackle, while economic consequences worsen. 

“At a time when resources are diminished, it all adds up to charity crunch where need outweighs the sector’s ability to meet it next year.

“As the government considers how to soothe the social scars Covid-19 has created, charitable organisations can be a core ingredient of the balm the country needs. 

“But the sector can only play that crucial role if ways are found to urgently inject more resource.”

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