Funding remains biggest concern over short- and medium-term

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A new report casts light on risks facing charities in the short, medium and long term.

24th June 2019 by Gavin Stuart 0 Comments

Funding remains the biggest concern to charities, according to a new study.

Researchers for specialist insurer Ecclesiastical asked charity bosses to pinpoint the biggest risks facing them over the short- (12months), medium- (1-3 years) and long-term (5 years).  

In both the short- and medium-term, funding was said to be the single greatest challenge facing all charities.

Attracting and retaining talent were also found to be major concerns for third sector organisations, with fears of staff burnout also registering high on the list of challenges.

Reputational risks were also high on charities’ agendas in the wake of the Oxfam sexual exploitation scandal, emerging as the biggest perceived risk over the long term.

Brexit and growing political instability were listed by charity leaders as other long-term concerns. Ecclesiastical said larger charities were especially worried about the potential impact of the UK leaving the European Union.

Researchers also found that many charities were taking a short-term view of risk. One in five charities is only looking ahead 12 months when considering their strategic risks, and just 40% are looking beyond three years.

The data has been published in Ecclesiastical’s Charity Risk Barometer, which offers suggestions to charities facing increasing risks to their securities.

Angus Roy, charity director at Ecclesiastical Insurance, said: “These are challenging times for the sector. Uncertainty is the new norm and new risks are emerging all of the time.

“It is imperative that charities spend more time thinking about not only the potential rewards, but also the risks they are facing, now and in the future.”

The report makes four major recommendations to charities facing an ever-evolving future.

These include properly evaluating and considering risks, diversifying to maintain financial stability, evolving fundraising models to appeal to a new generation of supporters and ensuring a diverse mix of talent and opinion at board level.

Mr Roy said: “As a specialist partner to the charity sector, our role is to help customers manage their risks and our research shows that too many charities are taking a short-term view, which may be limiting their ability to grasp new opportunities and identify emerging threats.

“It is best, and most logical, to think about risks when a charity is looking at its three- to five-year strategic plan.”