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Charities report significant lost income since pandemic began

12 November 2021

Several on the brink of closure, survey of executives finds


Brighter times: the children’s charity NSPCC are featured in the Christmas lights on Oxford Street in 2018. Last month, the charity announced that it was closing its face-to-face service centres across the UK, making more than 150 staff, mostly social workers, redundant

Brighter times: the children’s charity NSPCC are featured in the Christmas lights on Oxford Street in 2018. Last month, the charity announced that it ...

UK CHARITIES have suffered dramatic losses of income since the start of the pandemic, which have left several on the brink of permanent closure, a new survey suggests.

Of the 100 senior executives of UK charities with investable assets of £1 million or more interviewed between June and July 2021, 56 reported that the income of their charity had fallen by more than 30 per cent since March 2020, when a series of national lockdowns forced the cancellation of fund-raising events, and shop closures.

Forty-two executives reported an income drop of between ten and 30 per cent. Only two said that the income of their charity had risen or stayed the same. Eight said that, as a result of these drops in income, their charities were now at risk of closure. More than half the respondents (57) said that cutbacks on the services that their charities provided were being considered; 40 said that cutbacks had already been made.

Six out of ten (63 per cent) of the executives surveyed, whose charities collectively have £3 billion of assets in stock-market-related investments, said that they had stopped making investments since the start of the crisis because of the fall in income. About 45 per cent had sold assets such as property to generate funds.

Fifty-three reported that redundancies had already been made, and 24 said that staff had been furloughed. Further reductions in staff numbers were expected by 45 of the respondents.

The research, conducted by Pureprofile, was commissioned by the wealth management group James Hambro & Partners. Its head of charities, Nicola Barber, said: “Many charities have had to endure huge falls in their income during the pandemic, but at the same time demand for their services has increased. This has placed huge financial strain on them, and, sadly, our research shows the drastic steps many have had to take to continue to offer the vital services they provide, and in some cases survive.

“Charities with investable assets generate around £4 billion a year from them in income; so they are a valuable source of cash. Many may need to review the investments and savings they have, to ensure they are working as hard as possible for them but within their ethical and risk parameters.”

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