The charities crisis
How the pandemic has affected the charity sector, by Stephen Tomkins
The coronavirus pandemic has been overwhelming for charities. Lockdown has devastated fundraising, whether through events, personal giving, shops and contracts. At the same time, many charities faced a sharp increase in demand. Coming on top of a decade of governmental austerity, the prospect is grim.
British Heart Foundation has reported losses of £10m a month since all of its 750 shops went into lockdown, and has had to halve its research budget. Comic Relief announced in July that it is making a quarter of its 240 staff redundant, as part of £5m in cuts. The global development charity, African Initiatives, is shutting down. St John Ambulance, facing a deficit of £25m, announced the closure of 117 of its 352 buildings, with a second review to follow in the autumn, and 250 redundancies.
Christian Aid expects a £6m shortfall in 2020. Breast Cancer Now says it will have to spend at least £2m less than planned on research next year.
The loss of the London Marathon was a blow across the sector, as it raised £66m in 2019. Hospices have reported a fall in income of £70m a week, say Civil Society News.
A report in August by the Small International Development Charities Network found that 45% of its charities expected to close this year unless they receive additional funding, even while 72% reported an increased demand for their services. In another report, more than half of animal charities surveyed said that their income had fallen by 50% or more…
Stephen Tomkins is Editor of Reform
This is an extract from an article published in the September 2020 edition of Reform