Charities face record demand for services in 2021 despite forecasted fall in revenue

Despite a significant forecasted fall in income, the charity sector expects to receive record demand for its services in 2021, a major study has revealed.

The research, published by Pro Bono Economics, suggests that the sector is heading into the new year under-resourced and underfunded.

According to the paper, three in four (75 per cent) charities expect to see higher demand for their services in 2021, suggesting that the need will come from both new people turning to charities for the first time and existing service users “seeking more support than before”.

At the same time, however, four in five (83 per cent) not-for-profit organisations forecast a fall in revenue over the next 12 months “relative to pre-crisis expectations”, while seven in 10 (69 per cent) charities think it will take “more than a year” to return to pre-crisis income levels.

This, economists warn, will create a significant service gap – the difference between people receiving support and those who require support but cannot access it – and are calling for increased investment in the sector.

Commenting on the research, Caron Bradshaw, Chief Executive of Charity Finance Group, said: “Our research shows that charities are seeing rising demand from both existing and new beneficiaries, while their capacity to meet that demand is becoming ever more constrained.

“However, more than two-thirds of charities say they expect it will take at least a year to see income levels return where they were before the crisis and we know it took them over 10 years to recover from the 2008 crash.

“Relatively modest investment to support charities to meet those demands now could make the difference between permanently losing what they offer – depriving generations to come – and preserving their services.”

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Posted in Blog, Charities.