Nearly a fifth of charity bosses plan to reduce the number of paid staff they employ because of the recession, according to a survey by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations published this week.
Half believe the financial situation of their organisation will get worse, and seven out of 10 leaders plan to either cut staff or keep the same number of workers, the charity forecast survey conducted between January and March found.
Many of the 144 respondents were concerned about cuts to funding for essential provision, as well as their ability to maintain the same level of services with fewer resources. Some said that government and local authority funding was becoming difficult to access.
Almost half of the organisations were planning to hire more volunteers, while nearly three-quarters expected more collaboration with other charities and a tenth thought there would be less competition.
Just 48% of respondents were planning to expand the services they offer, and 41% of the respondents expected no change.
Stuart Etherington (pictured right), chief executive of NCVO, said the recession was having a “significant impact on confidence levels” among charities and voluntary organisations but added: “It’s encouraging to see the sector is responding to the challenge by planning increased collaboration and an expansion of volunteers.”
Michael Kennard, chief executive of charity The Signalong Group, which helps people with impaired communication, said: “We work in the fields of education and social care, where the government has announced new initiatives, so demand for our services should at least be maintained. However, the event of falling investment income on funders means that we anticipate having to provide the same or increased services on a smaller voluntary income.”
The news came as union Unite published a “recession charter” calling on the government to ensure stability for the charity sector.
NCVO has published online resources to help charities through the recession.