And figure could rise to 60,000
A £10 billion shortfall due to the health crisis will cost at least 25,000 jobs in the third sector, a new study has warned.
Figures from the latest Charity Sector Tracker published by Pro Bono Economics, in partnership with the Institute of Fundraising and Charity Finance Group, show 19% of charities surveyed have already made redundancies with 23% planning to make further cutbacks once the UK Government’s furlough scheme comes to an end.
The figure could rise to 60,000, the research states.
Nearly one in 10 (8%) large charities anticipate reducing their headcount by 25-50%.
More than 5,400 job losses have already been announced in the charity sector since the start of the pandemic, but the Charity Sector Tracker results indicate that this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Pro Bono Economics estimates that the true figure is closer to 25,600 and that another 34,100 charities sector employees may have lost their jobs by the end of the year.
Already the National Trust in Scotland has announced a raft of redundancies even after a £3.8 million Scottish Government bailout. Some 230 jobs are expected to go, joining a host of charities which have warned they cannot sustain running services at pre-coronavirus levels.
Unemployment in the UK is anticipated to double in the run-up to Christmas, just as the risk of a second wave of coronavirus infections is at its highest.
But while 68% of charities expect demand for their support to rise in the next six months, 58% say it is likely they will have to reduce the services they offer over the same period.
Caron Bradshaw, chief executive of Charity Finance Group, said: “Charitable activities and organisations are the glue that keeps communities together and a bridge between the sectors. They want to play their part in the recovery but every day society is closer to losing huge capacity at the heart of our communities.
“The scale of job losses in the charity sector means less capacity to help people survive loss, hunger, unemployment. Charities are vital to help society through the crisis of Covid and will be essential to the effort to rebuild as we go through a deep-rooted recession and a potential second wave.
“These results should ring an alarm bell for government that without action there is worse to come.”
Daniel Fluskey, head of policy and external affairs of the Chartered Institute of Fundraising, added: "The findings from this research show just how challenging the situation is for charities across the UK. The stark figures on reduction of services and job losses are of real concern and will have a real impact for the people, families, and communities who rely on charities every day.
"At a time where so many people are struggling, we are seeing charities' ability to help them severely reduced, not just in the short-term, but over the months and years ahead."