Most charities expect to see an increase in demand for their services over the next six months, according to a survey from Pro Bono Economics (PBE).
The latest survey found that 72% of respondents predict growing demand over the next six months, compared to pre-crisis expectations.
PBE is conducting a weekly tracker to find out how coronavirus is affecting charities, over the course of 2 and 3 June 2020, a total of 261 respondents filled in the survey. This included 94 small charities (annual income of less than £500,000), 132 medium sized charities (income between £500,000 and £10m), 32 large charities (income of £10m or more), and three other.
Of those who participated in the survey, 90% said they expected Covid-19 to have a negative impact on their ability to meet their objectives over the next six months, with 41% saying they expected it to be a “large” negative impact. One in ten, 9%, said they thought it would have a positive impact.
Nearly three quarters, 72%, said that they expected to see an increase in demand for their services over the next six months, compared to pre-crisis expectations.
A similar amount, 74%, said they thought it was “unlikely” that the financial challenge associated with Covid-19 would cause their organisation to stop operating altogether in six months’ time. However, a significant minority of 12% said they thought it was “likely” that they would cease operating – though only 2% said it was “very” likely.
‘We have seen some slightly more optimistic figures on organisations expecting no impact’
Anoushka Kenley, research and policy director at PBE, said: “We’re not yet seeing any big changes in mood in the sector. Similar to previous weeks, nine out of ten organisations felt as, or more, concerned over the past week about the impact of Covid-19. Things seem to be getting worse for small charities, where close to half felt increasingly concerned over the past week about the impact of Covid-19 on their ability to deliver. For medium and large charities, that figure was closer to one in five.
“The impact of social distancing on service delivery is again this week the biggest negative impact of Covid-19 on charities, so we may see some shifts in those figures as lockdown restrictions are reduced.
“We have seen some slightly more optimistic figures on organisations expecting no impact, or even a positive impact, on income – a rise from 8% last week to 12% this week. Nonetheless, we’ve seen very little change in the proportion of charities who believe financial challenges will force them to close – 12% believe it’s likely they will no longer be operating in six months.
“This is perhaps unsurprising given the income gap that’s likely to emerge, not just from reduced access to finance but also from increased demand – 72% of charities expect to face an increase in demand for their services over the next six months, compared to their pre-crisis plans.”