75% of charity workers in Scotland expect the sector's financial situation to worsen, according to poll

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28th February 2019 11:53 - Voluntary

75% of charity workers in Scotland expect the sector's financial situation to worsen: A poll for The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) has revealed three-quarters of charity workers in Scotland expect that the financial outlook for the sector is set to further decline.

The Third Sector Forecast 2019 polled 300 charity staff and the results showed an increase in the number of respondents reporting a difficult year, growing from 17% in 2016 to just under a quarter in 2018 (23%).

The ongoing challenges charities face, particularly related to demand for services and dwindling funding sources were highlighted strongly by the survey responses. 

Nine out of ten respondents  (91%) said that planning ahead was a challenge for them with one in four saying they have little confidence when it comes to planning for the year ahead,

Almost eight in ten (82%) said they are worried about the challenges they face owing to funding cuts, with 100% of those polled concerned about rising overheads.  Nine in ten (91%) said they expect that securing long-term funding will be difficult, as well as challenges with diversifying funding (88%)

Against the backdrop of funding cuts, charity workers are also worried about more people needing their organisation’s support or services with 81% expecting to see a rise. Providing quality services that are also affordable will be challenging in the coming year, predict 83% of respondents. Showing some optimism, more than half (56%) think that the number of services they offer will rise in the next 12 months.  

The survey also found 80% felt that managing their relationships with local councils as well as national government will prove challenging going forward, while 84% said they feel it will be hard to demonstrate impact.

When it comes to staff and volunteers, two thirds (67%) said they fear recruiting and retaining staff will be challenging. The same amount said the same for volunteers (67%).

As well is difficult times ahead for the sector, respondents also fear challenging times ahead for them personally, with a third (34%) saying they think their own finances are set to get worse.

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