A major UK charity lost over £1.5 million in revenue from cancelled fundraising events during the coronavirus pandemic, it has been revealed.
In an interview with Charity Finance Magazine (CFM), disability charity Sense said social distancing restrictions had significantly impacted its long-term budget.
Based in the UK, Sense campaigns on behalf of and supports people with complex hearing and seeing difficulties.
But during a time when its services are needed the most, its latest accounts reveal that it lost over £1.5 million from cancelled fundraising events during the pandemic, meaning revenue fell to under £80 million.
Speaking to the magazine, chief executive Richard Kramer said Sense had managed to navigate 2020 without dipping into its reserves because of public donations and grants, but warned that the charity’s budget would be “under pressure” for “at least the next two financial years”.
“We lost £1.5m by not having our fundraising events this year,” said Mr Kramer. “But at the same time, our individual giving has been up, and our support from grants and trusts and high value donors has been up, so that has offset some of the uncertainty.”
Sense also reported “large” losses in retail trading revenue as charity shops were forced to close during the pandemic, but announced “record-breaking sales” in the first week after the third national lockdown – up 85 per cent compared to its previous one-day sales record set in December 2020.
Sense is among the thousands of charities to have experienced financial difficulties during the coronavirus pandemic, with the sector now facing a “funding gap” of approximately £10.1 billion.
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