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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Bleak forecast as charities look to use cash reserves

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Reserves needed to stay operational

UK charities believe the impact of coronavirus will be far reaching with half saying they will spend all their reserves in the next year.

Ecclesiastical Insurance commissioned a survey with YouGov to build a picture of the impact that Coronavirus has had on the charity sector.

Some 17% said they thought the their reserves would be gone within the next six months, while 20% said this would be the case in the next year. 

The research found that 55% of charities said they were concerned about a loss of funding. 

However, some 83% had moved to digital methods of working to cope with the coronavirus pandemic, while 52% had used measures such as social distancing to continue their services. 

Richard Sagar, policy manager at the Charity Finance Group, said: “This research helpfully highlights what many in the sector will already know – that so many charities are at breaking point, struggling to provide support for the most disadvantaged in our society at a time when that support is never more needed.

“But it also points to positive signs: that so many charities have adapted the way they work, to better support those most in need.

“However, even with the flexibility and resilience they have shown, additional financial support will be crucial if we want to ‘build back better’ after this crisis.”

Angus Roy, niche director for charity at Ecclesiastical, said: “The findings from this research make for sobering reading, but they’re no surprise given the extraordinary year we’ve had so far.

“Charities have become used to dealing with challenges, but this year has given us a perfect storm of a loss of funding through fundraising activities, a reduction in giving from corporate partners, as well as the general public, and an increase in need has left many charities at crisis point.”