30% of charities say property is a barrier to charitable objectives

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22nd November 2018 12:03 - Voluntary

30% of charities say property is a barrier to charitable objectives: Three in ten UK charities say one of the barriers to delivering their objectives is property - a figure that is almost twice that recorded in the 2016 survey when it was just 17%. 
The research findings of the fourth bi-annual Charity Property Matters Survey showed 33% of charities now rent their properties from commercial landlords. Just four years ago in 2014, this figure was a much smaller, 21%. 
Published by the Ethical Property Foundation in partnership with the Charity Commission and the Charity Finance Group, the research sought to learn more about how charities use and manage their property, whether it is rented or owned and any other issues facing organisations relating to property.
It found that more charities now rent rather than own the properties they operate out of (31%) and 41% say that no one is specifically responsible for the property within their organisation. 
When it comes to securing funding to pay for property costs 32% said they had found this more difficult than other fundraising, and 26% believe they will likely have this challenge in the future. For 23% of those polled, paying for property amounts to over 20% of the organisation's total annual spend and 27% have fallen foul of unexpected costs linked to property. 
Over a third of respondents (36%) feel that property, represents a ‘high’ or ‘very high’ risk to their organisation and 66% do not have a strategic property plan in place  – a figure that is up 14 percentage points since 2016 when it was at 56%. 
The survey also found 44% did not regularly report back to charity trustees about property and 39% do not carry out regular risk assessments on properties within their organisations. 

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