Charities step up to plug gaps in public service

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Third sector thinks need for services will increase in the coming year

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12th April 2019 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

The vast majority of charities have seen an increase in demand for their services as the state sector rolls back.

A comprehensive survey shows that 83% of third sector groups saw increasing need for their work in order to plug gaps in the provision of public services, while 92% thought this will increase over the coming year.

Worryingly, a clear majority (59%) also believe that over the next five years the Westminster government will view charities as a nuisance for criticising its policies.

The Charity Landscape report – released by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) – asks leaders in the charity industry across the UK key questions about the political and social landscape they operate in.

Nearly six in 10 (59%) of charity leaders think that the sector has been badly impacted by recent negative media stories, whilst around seven in 10 agree that most people do not understand the importance of charities to public life.

Just over a third (35%) thinks that charities are good at demonstrating their impact to the public.

Generating more income continues to be the top challenge for 59% of charity leaders (62% in 2017), followed by meeting demand for services (unchanged at 33%) and reduction in public/government funding (32% and 29% in 2017).

At the time of the fieldwork, in November last year, most charity leaders felt that Brexit would have a negative impact on their charity (63%).

Susan Pinkney, head of research at CAF, said: “All organisations are operating in a difficult political and social landscape at the moment; the charity sector is no exception to this.

“Charity leaders have spoken with a united and clear voice, emphasising several key points. They are fearful of the impact that Brexit will have, for example on staff retention and the ongoing funding that allows them to provide services for those who need them.

“Despite this, there are reasons to be optimistic. 87% of charity leaders are investing in technological innovation in order to meet the evolving needs of their beneficiaries, reflecting a strong desire to plan ahead for the future.”