The credit crunch has sapped charities’ confidence in their futures, according to the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.
In the NCVO’s latest quarterly Charity Confidence survey, published this week, revealed that 74% of 210 charity leaders thought economic conditions would be negative for the sector in the following 12 months. The poll was undertaken in August, before the latest downturn.
Confidence drops in sector
Net confidence of charity leaders in the future of their own organisations dropped from 45% in February to 23%. Only 12% thought government policies would improve the operating environment for their organisation, with 47% feeling they would make it worse.
However, they are more confident in the sector’s economy than the wider UK economy.
Stuart Etherington (right), chief executive of the NCVO, said: “The main finding points to a general lack of confidence in the voluntary sector economy and the UK economy as a whole and this anxiety is now filtering through to charitable organisations.
“In previous charity forecast surveys they thought the general situation was bad but their organisation would weather the storm. Now it appears they are more worried.”
The NCVO is urging charities to plan for the downturn by reviewing funding streams, revisiting costs and bolstering volunteer numbers. It is inviting third sector bodies, including the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations, the Charity Commission and the government’s Office of the Third Sector, to a summit to discuss the downturn next month.
Scope announes redundancies
The news came as disability charity Scope defended its decision to make a number of redundancies after a drop in income brought on by the credit crunch.
Chief executive Jon Sparkes said the downturn had caused a drop in legacy income where money is tied up in properties that cannot be sold or investments that are falling in value .
Sparkes praised Andy Rickell, who led Scope’s work in empowering disabled people and was one of five senior managers made redundant.
• Charity forecast from www.ncvo-vol.org.uk