OSCR: One in five charities faces collapse

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A new survey has revealed the impact of coronavirus on the third sector #NeverMoreNeeded

15th June 2020 by Gavin Stuart 0 Comments

One in five Scottish charities is at risk of collapsing under the impact of Covid-19, according to new research from OSCR.

A survey for the charity regulator warned that 20% of charities are facing a “critical threat” to their financial viability in the next 12 months as the virus causes incomes to fall as demand for services skyrockets.

The greatest cause for concern was found to be fundraising, with 78% of respondents saying they had been forced to cancel or postpone events during the lockdown. More than half (51%) of charities reported they had lost income from fundraising over this period, while 42% said they had lost income from other sources such as trading.

Meanwhile, 29% of charities have seen volunteer numbers fall amid the pandemic.

In total, 95% of the 4,827 charities who replied to the survey said they had taken some type of action to counter the impact of coronavirus on their organisation.

The survey also asked respondents to submit recommendations to OSCR. The most common recommendation asked the regulator to continue with the current level of support, with flexibility on payment deadlines also receiving support from the sector.

The findings will be used to inform OSCR’s work, as well as to help local and national government, funders, public bodies and others in supporting the Scottish charity sector.

Maureen Mallon, OSCR chief executive said: “It is clear that the pandemic has hit many charities hard. Nearly every charity in Scotland reported some form of negative impact from Covid-19 or the lockdown measures.

“Charities have shown passion, skill and expertise in countering this impact as much as they can, but there is a significant proportion that still need support in a number of areas. While the lockdown measures are starting to be lifted, the very serious long-term impact on Scottish charities and the support they provide to beneficiaries is beginning to become clear.

“Many are accessing the wide range of financial and other support and guidance being made available during this time. It will be vital to ensure that this continues to be offered in a thoughtful and targeted way.”