UK charities less optimistic about financial future, says research

A smaller proportion of charities than last year believe their income will increase

Financial future uncertain
Financial future uncertain

Charities in the UK are feeling less optimistic about their future income than they did a year ago, according to research presented at the International Fundraising Congress in the Netherlands yesterday.

The 2011 State of the Nonprofit Industry Survey, published by the software services firm Blackbaud, was completed by 2,200 not-for-profit organisations, 242 of which were from the UK.

It found that 54 per cent of UK organisations thought their income would increase in 2012, down from 59 per cent last year.

Fifty-three per cent of UK organisations said they expected their expenditure to increase in 2012, the same figure as last year.

Adrian Cutcliffe, marketing manager at Blackbaud Europe, told Third Sector: "Even though UK organisations are optimistic about next year, it’s tempered by the fact that this is five points down on last year."

The survey also showed that of the nine countries included in the survey, including the US, France and Australia, UK organisations were the least likely to send thank-you letters to donors.

Only 67 per cent said they sent thank-you letters, compared with 83 per cent in Australia, the highest proportion.

Forty-one per cent of UK organisations said they would not be getting any revenue from social networking this year.

Jan Krol, vice-chair of the Resource Alliance, the charity that runs the IFC, told delegates at the session in which the research was launched that social media was important, even if it was not being used for fundraising.

"If you’re not ready for social media yet, you’d better get ready," he told delegates. "You have to be constantly alert to what’s going on on social media."

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