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Nearly half of charity leaders plan to decrease expenditure this year, NCVO poll suggests

A snapshot poll of senior staff at NCVO members suggests many are planning to decrease their expenditure.

47% of those polled said their organisation planned to decrease its expenditure in the next 12 months, with 34% planning to increase it. 19% said they would make no change.

Nevertheless, 41% of charity leaders polled said they had plans to increase the services their organisation provided within the next 12 months.

Sir Stuart Etherington, Chief Executive of NCVO, said:

"The responses to our member poll clearly indicate times are still tight for charities, squeezed by decreasing income and increasing demand. Many respondents identified uncertain future funding arrangements as inhibiting their ability to plan their activities. Finding money to fund core costs is still a challenge even for those organisations whose work is otherwise adequately funded.

"The government’s recent concessions on the gift aid small donations scheme, and its current reviews of ways to boost digital giving and payroll giving, are welcome moves in this context.

"The risk of further local authority cuts, especially when they are disproportionate ones, however, remains a major worry. Charities are immensely resourceful when it comes to dealing with tight budgets, but further cuts could seriously undermine the ability of many to support the most vulnerable people in society.

"Charities keep reserves to see them through rainy days, but it’s been raining for a long time now."

Paul Ashton, Chief Executive of Prospects (1), who responded to the poll, said:

"Our sector can’t expect to be immune from the economic challenges but further reductions in contract income will be devastating to an already hard-pressed and dedicated workforce. Local charities often provide a lifeline for individuals and families and there is a danger that many effective organisations will be forced to close, leaving the public sector to pick up the pieces. This will prove to be more costly in the long run as local organisations are generally providing more cost-effective support."

The results are in the twentieth edition of NCVO’s quarterly Charity Forecast. Senior staff among 256 NCVO member organisations completed the poll, which was open between 22 November and 21 December 2012. The poll is not a random probability sample so results should be considered indicative. Over time, however, the Charity Forecast series gives an insight into trends in the sector. The reports are available free to NCVO members see our website for further details.

For more information, please contact Aidan Warner in the NCVO press office: 020 7520 2413, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


1) Prospects works with people who have a learning disability:

NCVO champions and strengthens the voluntary sector, with over 10,000 members, from the largest charities to the smallest community organisations.

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