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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.

Charities' face festive downturn


Charities are using a variety of tactics to cope but thousands could close.

UK charities are “teetering on the edge of collapse” due to decreased donations and increased demand this festive season.

A new report by match-funding charity, the Big Give, shows one in five (22%) charities would usually secure more than a quarter of their voluntary income during the Christmas period.

But this year, it's a very different story, as nearly two-thirds (63%) expect donations this year to be lower than usual. 

The Big Give saw a 24% increase in applications for their annual match funding campaign, the Christmas Challenge, which offers the public the opportunity to have their donations matched between 1-8 December. 

This year charity income was badly impacted by Coronavirus, as high street charity shops have been closed and fundraising events cancelled. The report, in which over 1,000 UK charities were surveyed, reveals that almost two thirds (63%) of charities reported an average income decrease of 43%. 

And sadly, it’s only predicted to get worse, as the pandemic puts a further strain on charity resources over Christmas. Over half (55%) of charities have reported an increase in demand for their services since the pandemic hit, while two in five (40%) expect an increase in demand for their services over the Christmas period. 

Charities are using a variety of tactics to cope but thousands could close.

Many charities are spending down on reserves (41%), reducing service delivery (24%) and restructuring (23%) to cope with the impacts of Coronavirus.

In addition, 60 of the 1,000 surveyed (6%), are considering mothballing or closing completely. Extrapolated across the sector, this could mean the closure of around 10,000 charities. Smaller charities are particularly vulnerable. 

James Reed, chairman and chief executive of recruitment company REED, and Trustee of The Big Give, commented: “The disruption caused by Covid-19 is hugely challenging for the charity sector. We are approaching an alarming crunch point where many worthwhile organizations might fail for lack of funds. Now, more than ever, both charities and their beneficiaries need and deserve our support.” 

Reed added: “Charitable campaigns, such as The Big Give’s Christmas Challenge, provide a vital lifeline for charities and this report clearly highlights why giving this year, no matter how small your donation, is more important than ever.”

The Big Give was founded by Sir Alec Reed in 2007 who remains involved in the organisation. Initially, the vision was to provide a search engine for charities and a secure way for individuals to give online.




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