Not-for-profit sector facing “£10.1 billion” funding shortfall over next six months

More than two in five charities have now applied for emergency funding as a result of Covid-19 disruption, it has been revealed.

The finding forms part of the Pro Bono Economics weekly tracker, a survey aiming to monitor the impact of the coronavirus on the not-for-profit sector.

The latest results show a marked increase in the number of organisations relying on private, social and Government-backed finance to stay afloat, with some 42 per cent of respondents reporting to have made a finance application, compared to just 28 per cent two weeks ago.

Likewise, two-thirds of charities have now used the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and almost three in five (58 per cent) have sought funder flexibility on spending, delivery, or reporting.

Additionally, nine in 10 charities say they expect the pandemic to have a negative impact on their income, while three in five (59 per cent) have had to “significantly reduce activity” in response to social distancing measures.

The research comes as Pro Bono Economics estimates that UK charities will face a £10.1 billion funding gap over the next six months as a result of COVID 19. The not-for-profit sector economist predicts that income will fall by £6.7 billion, while demand for charitable support will rise by the equivalent of £3.4 billion.

Commenting on the study, Matt Whittaker, Chief Executive of Pro Bono Economics, said: “The significant scale of the support being provided by government is of course very welcome – as is the generous help being provided by the public in the form of donations and volunteering – but it’s not enough.

“Charities’ incomes are under great strain at precisely the same time that demand for their assistance is rising, generating a £10.1 billion funding gap that translates into huge unmet demand.”

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