One in five charities in Scotland have stopped operating amid pandemic

The devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on charities in Scotland has been revealed in latest figures from the Office of Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR).

The regulator has found that nearly one in five charities in Scotland (18%) had suspended all their operations, when surveyed in November last year.

The proportion rose to one in four (27%) among smaller charities, with an income less than £25,000. This is markedly more than charities with an annual income of £100,000 or more, with less than one in 20 (4%) stopping operating.

Instead larger charities are more likely to have stopped some of their services.

Half of large charities have suspended some of their opertions, but this figure fell to 24% among those with an income under £2,000.

Maureen Mallon, OSCR chief executive, said: “Charities are concerned about the people they support, the continued disruption of their services, and the income they have lost since the start of this global crisis.”

She added: “Scotland’s charities have demonstrated resilience throughout this public health crisis, and many have continued to provide essential services to those in need. Our research shows that many now face significant financial challenges if they’re to continue this essential work when we start to rebuild and recover in 2021.

The latest survey findings from the OSCR also reveal that four out of five charities (79%) who receive income from donations and fundraising have seen a dip in income.

Older and religious charities have been the hardest hit by a fall in fundraising income.

Mallon said that most (83%) charities in Scotland face a threat to their financial viability in the next two years.

“For 12% of charities, the threat is critical - and this figure rises to 18% for mental health charities and social care charities working with children and families,” added Mallon.

A survey released last year found that people in Scotland and Wales are among the least likely in Britain to cut the amount they give to charities due to recession and the Covid-19 pandemic.

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