Leading charity bodies have teamed up to urge voluntary organisations to share their experiences of how the recession has affected them and how they have adapted to a new funding environment.
The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), the Charity Finance Group, the Institute of Fundraising, the National Association for Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA) and the Small Charities Coalition launched the call for evidence on 28 July as part of a review into the voluntary sector’s finances.
Information gathered through the call for evidence, which will close on 30 September, will feed into the review and help to identify different approaches voluntary organisations have taken to cope with a tough financial climate.
The review aims to assess the financial sustainability of voluntary organisations, identify trends that have emerged in voluntary sector income, expenditure and assets since the recession and provide analysis to enable the sector to plan for the future.
It will also make recommendations to policymakers on ways to improve the sector’s financial sustainability and provide practical advice and support to help voluntary organisations become more financially sustainable. The review is due to publish a final report in early 2015.
NCVO chief executive Sir Stuart Etherington said: “For many organisations, the recession will have thrown any financial issues into sharper relief. How they dealt with the problems they faced will give us insight into how the whole sector can adapt for the future.’
Caron Bradshaw, chief executive of the Charity Finance Group, said: “Charities are still reeling from the impact of the recession, but this review provides a timely opportunity to take stock of the changes in income streams that have affected the sector as a whole.
“There are a number of challenges facing the sector in the years ahead: diversifying income, building sustainable business models, facing the pension challenge and enhancing financial capability to name a few.
“In order to meet them and have informed conversations with government on the support the sector needs, we need to understand the state of the sector’s finances as they currently stand – this review is an important part of that process.”
Neil Cleeveley, acting chief executive of NAVCA, added: “We know the recession and public spending cuts have not affected everyone equally. This review will provide a better understanding of the difference voluntary action makes by looking at the type of work charities do, where they are based and their size. This will be valuable intelligence to help target those most needing support.”
As advisors experienced in working with organisations in this sector, Nicklin’s charities team can provide comprehensive advice to help organisations maximise all aspects of their financial efficiency, to release additional resources for their core work. For more information, please contact us.