Confidence in sector dips, but individual optimism remains strong 11/06/08

Charity leaders are generally confident about the future of their own organisations, but are unsure of the prospects for the third sector as a whole, according to new research.

The study, by NCVO, into confidence levels in the voluntary sector found that while there had been a 16% drop in expectations for the UK economy as a whole, confidence in the voluntary sector economy has dropped by 21% since March this year.

And despite various government initiatives designed to improve the capacity of the sector, there has been a 15% dip in confidence in the government’s ability to improve the sector’s operating environment.

However, 49% of charity leaders questioned still expected to increase their campaigning and advocacy work over the coming year. In addition, NCVO’s head of research Karl Wilding said that most expected their service delivery to increase in spite of, or because of, difficult economic conditions.

Commenting on the lack of confidence in government, John O’Sullivan, chief executive of the St Johns Housing Trust, Suffolk, said: “The sector is being squeezed between the rhetoric of government / Cabinet Office extolling the virtues of the sector and the reality on the ground where local authority practices are challenging and threatening the diversity of the sector.”

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