Report highlights rocky road ahead for England’s sector

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NCVO report identifies areas where charities will be challenged over coming years 

10th November 2014 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

A report on the outlook for charities in England and Wales says that although funding problems will continue and poverty rising, there remain many opportunities for the sector.

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations’ report, The Road Ahead 2014, looked at the political, economic, social and technological landscape likely to affect charities over the coming years.

It found charities were already adapting wholesale to new funding environments as well as how they deal with the people they serve.

The report identifies “a long-term shift from what might be called a ‘funding economy’ of grants and donations, to a ‘financing economy’ of purchasing, contracts and social investment”, and it says the next few years could see a movement away from fundraising as a source of income. 

What just might characterise these responses is an attitude that only we, the voluntary sector, are in control of our destiny

“Charitable giving – and fundraising – are clearly alive and well,” the report says. “Yet there are arguably weak signals that the sector is shifting from funding to what has been termed ‘resource-raising’: reliance upon a wider range of non-cash inputs, including donated goods and, of course, volunteering.

"The latter includes greater interest from business in supporting the sector more effectively, such as through employer-supported volunteering.”

Report author Karl Wilding said: “Our data suggests that rising need and rising costs have been a problem for the sector.”

However, he says that while the sector faces difficulties there are also many leaders in the sector who are responding optimistically to the future.

“What just might characterise these responses is an attitude that only we, the voluntary sector, are in control of our destiny; that we are confident about who we are and the value we bring to society; and that we need to stop defining everything we do by our relationship with the state,” the report says.