Charity to cut staff salaries as organisations close buildings and shops

18 Mar 2020 News

One charity has announced almost all its full-time staff will face salary cuts because it risks losing up to 80% of its income due to travel and events cancellations.

Elsewhere, charities across the country are closing  shops, museums and visitor centres in response to government advice to avoid gatherings and unnecessary social interaction.

A number of museums are closing, including all the main London museums such as the British Museum, the Tate and the National Gallery.

Both the National Trust and RNLI have announced the closure of a number of their buildings, and some charities have already decided to shut their charity shops.

According to a survey, one in five charities in London had to reduce their capacity because staff members had to self-isolate or because volunteers decreased.

Child.org to cut its staff’s pay

Two days ago, development charity Child.org launched an emergency coronavirus appeal. It is asking for support after cancellation of travel and events means it risks losing between 40% and 80% of its expected annual turnover of £850,000.

The charity has now announced that 13 of its 15 full time staff in Kenya and in the UK will be reduced from five to three days a week as a cost-saving measure.

The charity says it has a fast-grow strategy and low reserves and its income is heavily reliant on events such as pub quizzes, walking tours for tourists and music festivals.

Charities close buildings and shops

Following the latest government advice for people to work from home and avoid social contact when possible, some charities have made the decision to close their buildings and centres.

RNLI said in a statement: “'The welfare of our volunteers, supporters and staff along with our ability to maintain our world-class lifesaving service is our priority.

“With this in mind, and given the current situation with Covid-19, we have taken the decision to close all RNLI shops, museums and visitor centres with immediate effect. Our lifeboat stations remain operational and we will continue to respond to those in need but will not be open to visitors.

“Our lifeboats will continue to launch to those in peril at sea.”

The National Trust announced yesterday that it will be closing its houses, cafés and shops this week.

However, it also said: “We're aiming to open many of our gardens and parks for free during this difficult time, so the nation can use open spaces to relax and refresh, while following the government’s social distancing guidance.”

Most charity shops remain open for now, but a few local charities have already decided to close them down instead. 

New Hope, a homeless charity in Watford, announced the closure of its two local charity shops yesterday. Domestic abuse charity Oasis in Kent also closed a shop, and so did The Bridge Church in Redditch.

Survey looks at initial impact of coronavirus on London charities

London civil society charity London Plus has surveyed charities about the initial impact the coronavirus emergency is having on their services and finances.

Of the 201 charities who answered the survey, one in five has already seen cuts in capacity because of staffing problems or drops in volunteer numbers.

One in seven has experienced some kind of financial impact, and the majority of charities expressed concerns over future funding issues. Almost half of the respondents rated their concern over the financial impact of the epidemic on their organisations between 8 and 10, with 10 being the highest level of concern.

London Plus is currently carrying out a second survey.

The organisation said: “The situation is changing rapidly and we want to share up-to-date and accurate information with the sector and, also, with key funders and policy-makers to help inform how they respond to the crisis.”

Emergency appeals

Some charities have already launched emergency coronavirus appeals, either to support their own work or to increase their capabilities in response to a rise in need.

Recently-registered charity Beauty Banks raised over £80,000 via GoFundMe to provide “emergency hygiene parcels” containing soap, hand sanitiser and other cleaning products to poor and vulnerable people.

Organisers Jo Jones And Sali Hughes of Beauty Banks wrote on GoFundMe: “We are completely overwhelmed. To know so many people have helped at such a difficult time - and when they have their own families and finances to worry about - is incredibly humbling and affirming.”

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