Nine in 10 charities, 91%, expect their incomes to be lower than previously expected over the coming six months due to coronavirus, a survey has found.
The latest survey by Pro Bono Economics finds that most respondents (42%) expect to see a reduction in their income of up to 25%.
Meanwhile around a quarter, 26%, thought their income would be between 25% and 50% lower. A smaller proportion, 16%, thought the drop would be between 50% and 75%, and 7% said they expected income to be down on previous plans by more than 75%.
Pro Bono Economics is conducting a weekly tracker to find out how coronavirus is affecting charities. This week, 90% said coronavirus has had a negative impact on their ability to meet their charity objectives over a six month period.
Over the course of 26 and 27 May 2020, 323 respondents filled in the survey. Of those that gave an income figure, there were 114 small charities (annual income of less than £500,000),166 medium sized charities (income between £500,000 and £10m) and 41 large charities (income of £10m or more).
‘Latest findings appear to point to a slight lightening of the mood in the sector’
Matt Whittaker, chief executive of Pro Bono Economics, said: “Relative to the trends described in previous weeks, our latest findings appear to point to a slight lightening of the mood in the sector. The proportion reporting that they have become more pessimistic in the seven days leading into the survey has been falling steadily over the past few weeks, and dropped to 34% this time around.”
More than half, 55%, said their level of concern was broadly unchanged over the past seven days. The proportion saying their expectations had deteriorated over the week had been around 40% for the past four weeks but now stands at 34%. Correspondingly, 11% said their expectations had improved over the previous seven days.
Whittaker added: “While this was the week in which small charities were able to start applying for support through the new Coronavirus Community Support Fund, it was large charities that were most likely to report a steadying of the ship. Two-thirds of this group thought things were broadly unchanged week-on-week, compared with half of the small charity group.
“Nevertheless, the overall picture painted by the survey is still one of considerable difficulty. Nine-in-ten expect their income to fall relative to pre-crisis plans in the next six months, and more than one-in-ten say it is “likely” that they’ll cease to operate altogether. It’s possible that the mood in the sector is starting to bottom out, but we are a long way from any sort of recovery. The near-term and longer-term futures of many thousands of vital organisations across the UK remain incredibly uncertain.”
Civil Society Media is a communications partner for the survey
Matt Whittaker from Pro Bono Economics reflects on the findings so far of its weekly tracker looking at how charities have been affected by Covid-19