Employment charity Tomorrow’s People announces closure 

05 Mar 2018 News

Tomorrow’s People, an employment charity, has announced it will close, saying that the fundraising environment is “increasingly tough”. 

In a statement on its website the charity said that it was looking for partners to take on some of its work. 

Tomorrow’s People supports young unemployed people to find work, and employs 135 people. It said that it had attempted to restructure but had been “unable to raise enough money”.

"The charity fundraising landscape has been increasingly tough in recent years, particularly for organisations of the size of Tomorrow’s People," the charity said in its statement. "There has been a significant reduction in the money available across public and private sectors.

"Tomorrow’s People has been materially impacted by this, and we closed a number of operations during the past two years as a result. During 2017, our general fundraising efforts did not pay off as we hoped, and in recent months we tried to bring in emergency fundraising and reduce our overheads to try and stay afloat. Unfortunately, we were not successful enough."

Tomorrow's People was founded in 1984 and last September launched new branding. Last year the charity also redesigned its service model and announced a strategy to launch 22 youth hubs by 2022. 

In December 2017 it said it had developed a new funding structure “City Social Partnerships” to bring “the public and private sector together to create long-term solutions”. 

Its chief executive is Martin Brookes, a former chief executive of NPC and founder of Pro Bono Economics. A new chair, Neil Berkett, joined the charity in December 2017.

Income down by £4m 

Tomorrow’s People’s accounts for the year ending March 2017 show its income significantly declined on the previous year and its spending outstripped its income.  

Income fell by nearly £4m from £8.7m in 2015/16 to £4.8m. Spending was £7.2m. 

The accounts say this was for a number of reasons. It lost approximately £1m from “an expected decline in funding from the DWP Work Programme (WP)” relating to projects in the south west of England which had been “pure payments-by-results” and the number of people using the Work Programme has declined. 

It also lost £1m from “a decision by ThinkForward to ‘in-source’ delivery of the schools-based programme ThinkForward, when it became an independent charity. Tomorrow's People had involvement in the design of the original programme but it was owned by Impetus-PEF which spun out ThinkForward, resulting in their decision to deliver the programme themselves”. 

A three-year partnership with HSBC, worth £2m also came to the end. 

“Therefore, all the component parts of the £4m reduction in income were due to external factors not within the control or under the influence of Tomorrow's People," the annual report said.

It said the charity had now invested in fundraising, better data management around donor and funder support, and a new delivery model, which it hoped would avoid a decline. 

It ended the year with unrestricted reserves of £2.8m and budgeted a deficit of £1m for 2017/18.

Income from donations more than halved to £2.5m, though only £444,000 was unrestricted, while income from charitable activities was £1.5m. 

It spent £1.7m on raising funds in 2016/17, including £556,000 on fundraising and £736,000 on retail outlets. 

Charitable activities cost £5.5m in 2016/17, down from £7.9m the previous year. 

Full statement

With deep sadness we announce that Tomorrow’s People will be closing. Despite our best efforts, we have been unable to raise enough money to sustain our vital work.

The charity fundraising landscape has been increasingly tough in recent years, particularly for organisations of the size of Tomorrow’s People. There has been a significant reduction in the money available across public and private sectors. Tomorrow’s People has been materially impacted by this, and we closed a number of operations during the past two years as a result. During 2017, our general fundraising efforts did not pay off as we hoped, and in recent months we tried to bring in emergency fundraising and reduce our overheads to try and stay afloat. Unfortunately, we were not successful enough.

In the coming weeks, the charity will be talking to partners in the sector to try and find safe harbour for our staff, and for the young people who were due to attend our programmes. This is a priority for Tomorrow’s People. We will update this page with news in due course.

We would like to thank all of our frontline staff who have worked tirelessly for the benefit of those most disadvantaged in society. In the last few years, we have attempted to modernise our fundraising and our programmes; our recent success demonstrates the validity of these efforts. In the last year we have helped more young people than ever before, with a greater success rate and at lower cost. This was intended to be the platform to grow our work and reach many more disadvantaged young people. We are saddened that we will no longer be able to deliver this much needed and effective service across the UK.

We want to thank everyone who has supported us and are tremendously proud of everything we have achieved together over more than 30 years.

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