The number of small charities that are worried they could be forced to close in the next 12 months has increased, according to a report by the Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI) published today.
FSI's Small Charity Index: Five Year Trends report released today shows that 3 in 10 small charities small charities fear closure in the next 12 months.
This compares to 1 in 10, which has been reported since the index began in 2013.
The report says: “It is hard to attribute this jump to anything other than the recent uncertainty in the UK surrounding anticipated future political arrangements, affecting also the circumstances that will face civil society overall.
In spite of the fall the report says: “However, we can also see consistent reports of high staff morale across all quarterly surveys, hopefully indicating a confidence amongst sector members in the ability of small charities to meet the challenges faced.”
Increase in demands and in cuts
There has also been an increase in demand for services from small charities, as well as an increase in cuts to statutory services.
Pauline Broomhead CBE, founding chief executive of the FSI said: “The data provided by the index shows a worrying trend as small charities are seeing the real impact of cuts to public funding.
“They have been flexible to date to meet this increasing need, however, the squeeze between increasing demand and insufficient funding available is beginning to really show with more small charities fearing they will no longer be able to survive.”
Theresa May’s promise
Broomhead added: “On the day she arrived in Downing Street, the prime minister promised a 'country that works for all'.
“The government would do well to look to the small charity sector, where we genuinely work for all and with all.
“So in these turbulent times if the economic impact of Brexit does prove to be negative and charities experience a further rise in demand for services and a continuing reduction in funding from statutory sources, we hope that government will on top of the transition fund in respect of EU funding streams, create a transition fund to ensure that charities can continue to deliver their services through the period of economic adjustment.”
Charting small charities over 5 years
The Small Charity Index provides an overview of the small charity sector, which includes charities with a turnover less than £1.5m.
Data was collected between 2013 and 2018 using the same questions each quarter and a total of 4,963 responses were received over the 60 months.