Small local charities and voluntary organisations around the UK have been particularly hard hit by the recession, according to a survey of 500 organisations.
Over half (54%) of the small charities surveyed said that the recession had had a direct and negative impact on their finances. Indeed, around one in six (16%) admitted that they were doing much worse and had nearly closed down as a result of the downturn.
Furthermore, the survey found that 14% of small charities and voluntary organisations said that their membership had dropped by 20% or more over the past 18 months.
The survey of 500 small charities and voluntary organisations around the UK was commissioned by Serverside Group, which works with banks to allow charities to offer branded and personalised credit cards to their members at no cost. It was carried out by market research agency, 20/20 Research.
Serverside Group linked its research findings to those of the Charity Commission, which reported around 8,000 fewer registered charities in the UK in December 2009 than there were the year before, “mostly at the smaller end of the scale”.
Tom Elgar, a director of Serverside Group, comments: “Although we are now technically out of recession, the economic downturn has had, and continues to have, a serious effect on third sector finances. It’s particularly bad at the smaller end of the charities spectrum… This is why so many charities and voluntary organisations are looking for alternative sources of fundraising to keep themselves afloat, as well as new ways to attract members.”