Charity leaders increasingly concerned about employee burnout, research finds

06 Nov 2023 News

By foto_tech / Adobe

Charity decision-makers are increasingly concerned about employee burnout, as organisations “try to do more with less” during the cost-of-living crisis, according to new research.

Some 30% of 251 leaders surveyed for this year’s Charity Risk Barometer said they had become more concerned about a loss of funding in the past 12 months.

Nearly two-thirds (66%) of respondents said their concerns about recruitment and retention challenges have got worse over the past year.

Increased financial pressures

Some 85% of leaders said they were concerned about increased running costs, while 71% said a loss of funding was a great concern.

Of the charities that had raised concerns over loss of funding, 49% said they were concerned about losing funding from grants and 43% worried they’d see a drop in direct donations.

In response to the financial pressures, 37% of respondents said their charity had cut costs.

Some 34% had renegotiated contracts with suppliers, a third had changed activities or services without reducing them and a fifth had changed energy suppliers.

Concern for staff and volunteers

Some 70% of leaders said they had become more concerned about employee burnout in the past 12 months.

Most (55%) said they were concerned about managing the health and safety of staff, volunteers and service users. Some 38% said they were more concerned than they were a year ago.

However, 36% said they don’t provide any wellbeing support to volunteers. Some 34% offered wellbeing policies, down from 52% in 2020.

Some 72% of charities were concerned about attracting and retaining talent in the sector, with 47% worried about a lack of volunteers.

“What this research has shown us is that once again the sector is showing resilience in the face of all these challenges,” said Faith Kitchen, customer segment director at Ecclesiastical Insurance, which commissioned the survey.

“Many have a realistic view of the difficulties they face and can be agile in the measures they take to mitigate risk. They face real threats, but from a solid position.”

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