Charities raise escalating demand and falling donations fears despite Covid recovery

A surge in demand for support and income falls are continuing despite the UK opening up following successive lockdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a survey of small charities.

More than three quarters (76%) of small charities expect demand to continue to rise over the next three to six months.

The survey, of 1,200 small not for profit organisations, also reveals that mental health of beneficiaries is the major concern among small charities.

Foodbanks, community centres, homeless shelters and support for people with disabilities, are among the services offered by the charities surveyed.

Almost eight out of ten (78%) say they have already experienced an increase in demand over the last three months.

Meanwhile, six out of ten expect donations to fall by at least 25-50%, compared to normal levels.

Two third of charities believe their organisation is recovering “at least a little” as the UK moves out of a third period of lockdown.

But a third of small charities do not feel their organisation has started to recover at all, even though some public fundraising is allowed to take place and charity shops have reopened.

The survey has been carried out by online community investment platform Neighbourly.

“Small charities and community groups – who have been the backbone of our communities throughout the pandemic – continue to go above and beyond to get lifeline support to people in their area,” said Neighbourly chief executive Steve Butterworth.

“But as these insights from the frontline show, the demand for the lifeline services that local causes provide is continuing to rise – and we’re not out of the woods yet.

“The UK’s community infrastructure must be sustained and supported to ensure that our communities not only survive but thrive. Together we must ensure that local causes have the resources they need – from financial support to donations of food and volunteer time.”

In March, research by Newcastle University, Scotland’s Rural College and the Impact Hub Inverness, found that rural charities are among voluntary organisations already facing a demand hike.

    Share Story:

Recent Stories


How to elevate your non-profit storytelling with data and performance metrics.
Sage Intacct the non-profit financial management platform, takes a look at giving trends and insights.

What has the pandemic taught us about the public’s perception of charities?
In this episode of the Charity Times Leadership podcast, we take a look at what the pandemic has taught us about the public’s perception of charities. Charity fundraising platform, Enthuse, recently released its quarterly donor research study, which highlighted significant shifts in donor behaviour throughout the duration of the pandemic. Not only does the report highlight an overarching sense of positivity towards the sector, but a propensity for younger generations to give more generously, too. Lauren Weymouth is joined by Enthuse CEO, Chester Mojay-Sinclare to discuss more.

The importance of the ‘S’ in ‘ESG’
In this episode, Lauren Weymouth is joined by Ketan Patel, equities fund manager at EdenTree, to delve into the issue of social investment and why that all-important ‘S’ in ESG is more relevant now than ever before. The social element of ESG often gets forgotten when thinking about investing in more ethical and sustainable ways. But, after a challenging year for all areas of society, social injustice has been highlighted, and there’s a much greater need for charities to put people at the heart of their investment decisions.