Demand for charity services set to rocket, survey warns

Charities are set for a dramatic increase in demand for their services over the next month, a survey has found.

The survey of charities found that more than half (56%) are expecting to see an increased demand for their services, while only a third (34%) anticipate demand will stay the same and 8% think there will be a drop in demand.

This comes as around eight out of ten charities believe that Covid-19 will have a negative impact on delivering their objectives this time next year.

However, most charities are optimistic they will not be forced to close their doors. Around half (46%) said this prospect was very unlikely, while 25% said this was ‘quite unlikely’.

A total of 697 respondents took part in the survey between September 21 and October 5. Of those that took part 39% said their financial position had worsened over the last month. A similar proportion (34%) anticipate they will be in a worse financial situation over the next month.

The results have emerged in the latest monthly barometer survey being run by the NCVO alongside Sheffield Hallam and Nottingham Trent universities.

This has been created to give the charity sector an “overall picture of the sector’s health and where your organisation stands”, according to the groups involved.

The barometer also showed how charities are adapting to the pandemic. Two thirds have increased the proportion of services available online. Over the last six months more than a third have increased the range of services they offer.

In addition, charities have moved around a third of their paid staff to remote and home working.

Meanwhile, the proportion that have cut and increased their paid workforce is roughly the same. While 15% have deceased their workforce, 16% have boosted the number staff.

In contrast 27% have cut their volunteer workforce, while only 16% have increased their numbers.

Of those surveyed 67% operate locally, 30% are national, while 8% operate overseas.

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