Government cuts mean charities are “taking chunks out of each other” as they compete for the same pot of money from the public, Joe Jenkins from the Children’s Society said yesterday.
Speaking at the International Fundraising Congress in Holland yesterday, Joe Jenkins, director of supporter impact and income at The Children’s Society, highlighted the increasing levels of competition between charities in the UK.
He said this was one of a number of "drivers of change" which meant the sector needs to change its model.
He said shrinking government spending meant that more charities are now moving into the fundraising sphere.
This in turn has put increased pressure on charities to compete with one another over the same pot of income, which as a percentage of household spending hasn’t increased in half a century.
“In the UK, we know that competition has increased, because the core sources of funding that we’ve relied on over the last 30 or 40 years are either contracting or declining," Jenkins said.
"The National Council for Voluntary Organisations projects there is going to be at least a £4bn gap between the rates that voluntary income can grow, compared to the rate at which government funding will contract.
"So we have more organisations competing for more income and we’re not getting any greater share of people’s household spend, which means we’re taking chunks out of each other.”
Jenkins said this has led to a situation where if one charity was succeeding that meant “another is almost certainly doing less well” as a direct result.
Jenkins also highlighted that a number of outside factors, including changes in fundraising legislation; shifting age-demographics and the threat of automation means that charities must move away from a product-led approach to a supporter-led one in order to stay relevant.
Jenkins said fundraisers must move away from current models that “focus on the short-term values of products, to the long-term value of supporters contributing”.