Voluntary income for charities expected to fall by 48% due to COVID-19, according to IoF survey

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3rd April 2020 14:26 - Voluntary

Voluntary income for charities expected to fall by 48% due to COVID-19: A coronavirus impact survey by the Institute of Fundraising (IoF) has found that voluntary income is expected to fall by almost half, at the same time as demand is expected to soar.

The research, which is in partnership with the Charity Finance Group and National Council for Voluntary Organisations, collected responses from more than 1,100 charities. It found that the 337 charities which have made a reforcast of income expect to see their average voluntary income plummet by 48%, with overall income falling by almost a third (31%) on last year's figures. Demand, however, is expected to increase by 43%, which means many charities will be facing excessive strain.  

When asked about how they expect the coronavirus pandemic to impact their services, nine out of ten (91%) said they expect cash flow to become stalled, while six in ten (62%) fear they will have to reduce their charitable activities. Two-fifths fear that a disruption in cash flow will leave them unable to pay wages, while a third (34%) said it would leave them vulnerable to being unable to cover utility bills and mortgage payments. 

For more than half the participants polled, the impact of Covid-19 is already noticeable, with 52% reporting reducing the level of service they offer, and a further 12% saying they plan to do so in the future. Two-thirds said that they have moved to try and work more digitally, wherever possible.

To ensure charities are sustainable over the next 3 - 6 months, 83% said that the most important thing for them was to secure emergency grant funding. Almost three-quarters of respondents (73%) said that securing emergency funding would also support them in helping their charity play a role in the wider response to Covid-19.

Chief executive of the Institute of Fundraising, Peter Lewis, commented:

“To ensure that charities are able to both maintain their existing services to people and to play their fullest role meeting the needs of our most vulnerable people we need a support package for the sector. Over the next 12 weeks charities will lose £4 billion in vital income that they would have received from the British public, at the same time as a 42% surge in demand for their services. They need urgent help to maintain and expand their services."

* The survey authors note that 35% of responses were from larger organisations (income of 100k +). More information about this can be found in the report

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