NCVO calls for emergency funding as charities report 300% increase in energy bills

31 Aug 2022 News

Sarah Vibert, CEO of NCVO

Charities are reporting a 300% increase in energy costs which has led some to sell property to stay afloat, the chief executive of NCVO has said. 

The membership body is calling on charities to get in touch with information about the rising costs, so it can approach the government with the evidence and ask for more support.

This lobbying will include urging the government to provide more funding for charities as part of an emergency budget, which it said is likely to be announced in September.

It is calling for contracts with charities to be uplifted in line with inflation to cover rising costs and for urgent funding for energy efficiency measures.

In a blog published yesterday, Sarah Vibert said that charities whose mission does not typically include crisis support were increasingly finding themselves supporting beneficiaries’ immediate financial concerns. 

For example, Mind’s Infoline has seen a 30% increase in calls related to finance compared to last year, the RSPCA has reported a 24% rise in pet abandonments and Citizens Advice has reported that its referrals to food banks have almost tripled in the last three years. 

At the same time, donations to charity are expected to plummet despite this significant increase in demand. 

‘The scale of the challenge is huge’

Vibert also said that some charities were closing services because they were “struggling to retain staff leaving for higher salaries in the public and private sectors”.

A recent report by Pro Bono Economics found charity workers are paid 7% less per hour than their counterparts in the wider economy.

“The scale of the challenge is huge, in many ways far greater than charities experienced in 2020,” Vibert said.

“The root causes of this crisis are very different and require bold and far-reaching action from the government.”

NCVO is calling on the government to provide more support to charities in an expected upcoming emergency budget. 

Pledge to support members during the cost-of-living crisis

In the blog, NCVO assured its members that its team is on hand to answer questions about running a charity during these challenging times, and that it is refreshing its guidance so it covers a broad range of enquiries. 

It is also working with corporate partners to explore ideas for support the private sector could offer voluntary organisations. 

NCVO is also running events through the autumn to help charities address key operational worries. Its upcoming webinar is based on how to support and retain staff during the cost-of-living crisis.   

Its aim is to support the sector so charitable organisations can “focus on supporting people and communities through a very tough winter ahead.” 

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