More than half of charities are at “full capacity” because of cost-of-living pressures, survey finds

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19th March 2024 18:43 - Voluntary

More than half of charities are at “full capacity” because of cost-of-living pressures, survey finds: A survey has found that over half of charities are at full capacity because of cost-of-living pressures, with some charities having to turn away people in need.

An online survey of 607 charities was conducted by The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) to explore the impacts of  the cost-of-living crisis. The charity types involved in the research included food banks, community groups, support services and homelessness organisations. In late 2023, 59% saw an increase in demand for their services, compared to 2022. Out of the 59% who saw an increase in demand, 31% said the increase was substantial.

Further results highlighted that 53% of charities surveyed were at full capacity, with 41% of those unable to help anyone else when they are at full capacity. Additionally, the survey found that over one in ten (12%) charities said they have been forced to turn people away who needed their help, with the charities addressing prevention or relief of poverty struggling the most. As a result of this, charities have had to recruit more staff and volunteers.

The Charities Aid Foundation said a longer-term plan is needed to support organisations which are struggling with lower incomes and higher costs. This organization describes itself as acting as a voice of the charitable sector with the government.

Neil Heslop, the CEO of CAF, said: “We can't afford to have charities facing such uncertainty. The chancellor recognised their critical work in the March (2023) Budget, but now a longer-term plan is required to build the fantastic, hardworking charity sector back up.”

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