Charities 'fear closure' due to cuts and donation fall


Hannah Terrey from CAF: "Many charities are now very worried"

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One in six UK charities questioned for a survey say they fear they may have to close in 2013 due to public spending cuts and falling donations, the Charities Aid Foundation has said.

The poll of 252 senior charity workers also found just under half of their organisations have been forced to dip into reserves to stay afloat.

Over a third have said they may be forced to cut services or jobs.

The Cabinet Office said the charity sector "cannot be immune from cuts".

There are more than 160,000 charities in the UK.

Almost all of the 252 charities questioned for the CAF said generating more income was going to be their greatest challenge in the coming year.

Hannah Terrey from CAF said it was small and medium-sized charities, rather than large ones, which were feeling the pressure.

"Those [are the ones] that are in your local community doing vital things, providing social care, hospices, working with children and vulnerable young people - they may be the ones that are feeling the effects now."

The survey was completed online by charities of differing sizes by polling group Research Now.

Start Quote

Many organisations are having to dip into their reserves, cut vital frontline services and some are even concerned about whether they can survive in these toughest of times.”

End Quote John Low Charities Aid Foundation
  • Some 40% of those questioned worry that they will be forced to close if the economic situation does not improve
  • A quarter have already been forced to cut frontline services and staff
  • About 80% believe that the economic situation is the greatest threat to UK charities
  • Nearly three-quarters believe that charities are unable to fulfil their goals because of reductions in donations or government funding

The foundation is calling on the public to support charities through regular giving, regardless of how much time or money people can give.

Ms Terrie said said CAF and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations were urging charities to consider ways in which they can share resources and do things as efficiently as possible "to make the money that [they] do have... go as far as possible".

CAF is also lobbying the government to modernise and promote the Gift Aid scheme and payroll giving, so donations go further.

The Gift Aid scheme is for gifts of money by individuals who pay UK tax, and allows the charity to reclaim the basic rate tax on the donation.

John Low, chief executive of CAF, said tough economic times meant the public had less money to donate to charities.

He added: "This combined with significant public spending cuts and increased demand for charity services is having a shocking effect on many charities, calling into question their very viability.

"Many organisations are having to dip into their reserves, cut vital frontline services and some are even concerned about whether they can survive in these toughest of times.

"Charities of all sizes play an essential role in our society, providing social care and education as well as helping some of the most vulnerable people in our communities."

Investment help

A report last month found that donations to charity have fallen by 20% in real terms in the past year, with £1.7bn less being given.

The number of people donating also fell - as did the amounts they gave, from an average of £11 to £10 a month.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said "We know it is a very challenging environment for charities, especially for those previously dependent on taxpayer funding, but the sector cannot be immune from cuts."

The spokesman said the government was "committed to strengthening the sector through programmes such as the £10m Investment and Contract Readiness fund and the £65m Advice Services Transition Fund".

"We have introduced new ways for the sector to finance itself through Big Society Capital, capitalised with £600m, giving charities access to affordable loans and investment to grow, so they can do more," he added.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 175.

    @164.annieavatar, giving money to charity is giving money to the wealthy, look at the members of the boards of most of the large charities in the UK, all indepentantly wealthy, all drawing £80-100k+ salaries, surely the wealthy dont need those salaries so why do they take the money out of the charity?

  • rate this

    Comment number 174.

    The government defines the rules for charities so I define my own rules for what I give and to which charity. We STILL live in the greatest social democracy that ever existed, regardless of what you want to call it, and so I refuse to give any help whatsoever to those charities which are the government's responsibility. Age concern, breast cancer, childrens' charities and others. I pay my taxes.

  • rate this

    Comment number 173.


    166. Little_Old_Me


    You cannot tar every charity with the sins of sum


    Maybe so, but I think its fair to say there should be far more accountability with ALL charities, because so many now are out for lining their own pockets - and they are not particularly concerned about the dubious methods they use to raise 'funding'.either


  • rate this

    Comment number 172.

    We have seen a big increase in donations in 2012 - many donors have switched from the large 'corporate' charities. We are run entirely by our trustees and volunteers and have zero overheads - all of the services we need are provided free of charge by corporate and individual friends of the charity. We do not advertise, do not send out mailshots or begging emails and are opposed to chugging.

  • Comment number 171.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 170.

    Charities may depend on elites, but they do not serve the elites; they serve the poor, the needy.
    As we come towards Christmas the answer may change to these age-old questions:
    "Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?" (A Christmas Carol, Scrooge)

  • rate this

    Comment number 169.

    150. You
    Smashie and Nicey are apoplecticadocious.
    Not that Smashie and Nicey, this Shashie and Nicie.

  • rate this

    Comment number 168.

    A bakers chain baked gingerbread men for a famous charity and added 20p to price. Said money raised goes to charity. The reality was that only the 20p went to charity. Worked for a charity publishing company. Buyer led to believe all money went to charity reality only 10% went to charity. I left. People get fed up with being duped and stop donating. Charities need to review there strategies.

  • rate this

    Comment number 167.

    Private school I know (which is as they all are, charitys) gave 2 crappy computers to the local state primary. That was their charitable donation! I won't tell you how many millions it makes each year.
    I hate the way the word charity has been used and abused by selfish greedy people.

  • rate this

    Comment number 166.


    You could do with taking a dose of your own prescription - for sure some charities are not very well run, but many are extremely well run.

    You cannot tar every charity with the sins of sum - and furthermore, try checking out what CEs of companies with comparative turnovers get paid.....

  • rate this

    Comment number 165.

    There are simply just too many too many charities and too many charity shops in the UK. They dominate the high street, (My own hig street has 8 !), they pester you with unwanted direct mail, and plague you on the TV.

    People are suffering 'charity fatigue'. (Every fluffy animal, and sad cause has an orgaisation for it). Market forces, some will collapse. I have now had enough and stopped giving

  • rate this

    Comment number 164.

    How is it possible for the government to cut aid to the most vunerable and STILL take money from the poorest in society?
    Suggestion no 1 - Stop fiddling expenses (Still no transparency)
    Suggestion no 2 -Really be tough on big boys tax avoidance.
    Suggestion no 3 - You "create" money so you can "create" some to help charities in need.

  • rate this

    Comment number 163.

    Private schools, religious and political organisations, plus 'think tanks' have charitable status. Is it time for that to change?

    When you look at the Charity Commission website they don't declare their salaries.

    Plus, there are too many private companies registered there as 'charities' listed for the 'public good' - time to clean up registration of those who give genuine charities a bad name.

  • rate this

    Comment number 162.


    147. TRojandog A random sample of Charity CEO Pay (plus expenses and perks):


    Yes, and THAT was TEN YEARS AGO.

    Now, the CEO's refuse to itemise their salaries. They are not regulated by the CC, and the consumer has very few legal rights if they have been defrauded by a charity.

    It's a stitch up from first to last. Internal investigations, self monitoring.

    Wake up sheeple


  • rate this

    Comment number 161.

    131 AlErgic
    To whoever marked my score down.
    So it was you that collected the plastic charity bag. I would have had them washed but you only gave me a day to fill it up. Also I think I may have put a year and a half dirty white plimsoll in the bag as I can only find one. If you are passing can you put it through the letterbox please.

  • rate this

    Comment number 160.

    Is that why I always have to run the gauntlet of Chuggers (charity muggers) every time I walk down the high street. They are getting more vociferous and annoying every week.

  • rate this

    Comment number 159.

    I have just been trying to GIVE AWAY the contents of four large commercial chest freezers, ready meals and meals for one etc, all in date. I have spent all morning trying to contact homeless charities in the area, battered womens refuges etc. Sadly because it is Sunday no one is available. The food will go in the bin.

  • rate this

    Comment number 158.

    Are these not the organisations that Cameron was wanting to take up the slack and do things previously done by Govt agencies in his 'Big Society'.

    152.Corbans Satellite
    Place MP's on performance related pay ...

    Good one.. they would all need to claim work related benefits :D

  • rate this

    Comment number 157.

    As the greatest percentage of individual income to charities if you include lottery cards comes from the poorest 25% and as Osborne's polices are increasing the demand for charitable services while effectively cutting state and private support for them.

    It might have been a better idea not to give away this money to Millionaires .

    Still charity begins at home doesn't it George!

  • rate this

    Comment number 156.

    I wonder how much our collective belt-tightening has given rise to our cynicism about what some of these single issue and niche "charities" actually do with our money. There seems to be a charity for just about everything.

    Then there are the non-charities, such as Common Purpose. Maybe CAF should look long and hard at who or what can register as a charity.


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