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Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Slow returns for charity assets

This news post is 9 months old

Pre-pandemic levels of investment will take time

New research reveals 68% of charities with at least £1 million of investible assets believe their income will not return to pre-pandemic levels until next year.

James Hambro & Partners researched 100 senior executives of UK based charities in the summer of 2021.  The charities interviewed have a combined £3 billion in investible assets (stock market related investments). 

The fall in income identified by survey respondents helps explains why 18% say the financial health of their organisation has deteriorated dramatically during the Coronavirus crisis, and a further 58% say it has become slightly worse.  Just 9% say it has improved and 15% say it has not changed.

During the Coronavirus crisis, charities have seen a huge drop in income as fund raising events have been cancelled and many have had to take drastic steps to adjust the services they provide, and in some cases survive. 

Nicola Barber, partner – head of charities, James Hambro & Partners said: “Our research findings make for sobering reading.  Charites have seen a huge drop in their income, and many have had to make difficult operational changes to address this issue, which has seen some cut back on the services they provide or reduce their headcount. 

"With many not expecting their income to return to pre-pandemic levels for some time, charities are potentially facing further cutbacks. Some 8% of the senior executives we interviewed who work for charities believe their voluntary organisations are at risk of closure because of the financial strain they are under.

“Charites generate around £4 billion a year in income from their investments, so they need to ensure they are working hard for them but at the same time invested appropriately.”

Time periodPercentage of charity executives interviewed who say it will take this long for the income levels of the charities they work for to return to pre-pandemic levels
By December 20218%
December 2021/January 202224%
January to February 202220%
February to March 202225%
March to April 202215%
April to May 20226%
May to June 20221%
Beyond June 20221%

James Hambro & Partners has circa £5 billion of assets under management. Its head office is in Pall Mall, London, with other offices in Leeds and Edinburgh.



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