'Double dip' recession fears: Fundraisers and finance professionals to judge outlook for charities

10th October 2011

Charity fundraisers and finance professionals are encouraged to share their experiences of the recession in the latest Managing in a Downturn survey, launched today.

The survey – the fifth instalment in a trend measuring series - comes one year after the Comprehensive Spending Review and will look at the impact of Government spending cuts on the charity sector.

Compiled by the Charity Finance Directors’ Group (CFDG), the Institute of Fundraising (IoF) and PwC, the survey will track changes in actions and expectations since the start of the recession. Particular consideration will be given to prospects for the next twelve months, given the current economic uncertainty and fears of a ‘double dip’ recession.

Peter Lewis, Chief Executive of the Institute of Fundraising, says: “We are in a period of continued economic uncertainty, with not even financial experts agreeing whether economic recovery is around the corner, or if we are on the verge of a double dip recession. This uncertainty, coupled with a rising cost of living and public sector cuts, is making people count every single penny they’ve got. So far a winning combination of fundraisers’ skills and people’s continued generosity has kept donation levels steady so it will be fascinating to see what this latest survey reveals.”

Caron Bradshaw, CFDG’s Chief Executive, comments: "The Managing in a Downturn series has charted the impact of a changing economy on charities and offered guidance on how they can survive and even benefit from the situation. As the Government is encouraging the sector to play a greater role as part of its Big Society vision, it is so important that we step back and see what impact other measures such as the cuts are having. This fifth report will chart how charities have performed since the Spending Review and provide valuable evidence to illustrate just how difficult the economic environment is for the sector.”

Ian Oakley Smith, Director at PwC, says: "We have experienced a noticeable change in some of our clients' fortunes in recent months, with spending cuts starting to impact income and starting to influence confidence. As a result, we look forward with interest to the outcome of this latest survey to see how the sector as a whole is holding up. We are particularly interested to see how those charities with solid balance sheets are looking to address the changing needs of their beneficiaries and the opportunities that present themselves."

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For further information please contact:

Institute of Fundraising: Diana Mackie Tel. 020 7840 1027 / 07793 802 852
email: press@institute-of-fundraising.org.uk
Charity Finance Directors’ Group: Melora Jezierska Tel 020 7250 8348
email: Melora.jezierska@cfdg.org.uk

NOTES TO EDITORS

1. Managing in a Downturn

Managing in a Downturn is compiled by the Institute of Fundraising and Charity Finance Directors’ Group, in partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. Fundraisers and finance professionals have until 25th November to feed into the research report, accessible from the IoF and CFDG websites.

2. Institute of Fundraising

The Institute of Fundraising’s (www.institute-of-fundraising.org.uk) mission is to support fundraisers, through leadership, representation, standards setting and education, to deliver excellent fundraising. Members are supported through training, networking, the dissemination of best practice and representation on issues that affect the fundraising environment. The Institute of Fundraising is the largest individual representative body in the voluntary sector with 5200 Individual members and more than 330 Organisational members.

3. Charity Finance Directors’ Group

CFDG is the charity that promotes best practice in charity finance management, supporting finance managers with conferences, training and a wealth of web-based information. CFDG is also active in the policy arena, working on issues that affect charity finances. CFDG’s circa 1700 members are responsible for the finances of charities with a wide variety of income levels. Between them our members manage some £21.75 billion in charity income per year, around half of the sector’s income.

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