New research released by OSCR (the Scottish Charity Regulator) reveals how challenging life has been for Scottish charities and their workforce over the past year. The research is based on a survey of Scottish charities, carried out in November 2020.
In a blog on OSCR’s website, chief executive Maureen Mallon states:
“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.”
Key findings include:
Small charities are more likely to have stopped operating than larger charities – While one in five Scottish charities (18%) had suspended all operations, this figure rose to over one quarter (27%) for smaller charities whose annual income is less than £25,000. Very few large organisations (income of £100,000 or above) had stopped operating, but half of them had suspended some operations.
Larger charities and those supporting older people, disabilities and mental health had their services most disrupted – A third of charities (33%) reported disruption of services to beneficiaries, but this was reported by more than half (54%) of charities with 11 or more employees, 50% of mental health charities and 49% of social care charities working with older people and people with disabilities.
Majority of fundraising charities and those with trading income reported an income fall – Four in five fundraising charities (79%) say they have seen a decrease in income, and even more of those who relied on trading income (83%) reported a decline. Around nine in ten older charities (those set up more than 50 years ago) suffered a decline in fundraised and trading income.
This situation has resulted in a deteriorating financial situation for charities across Scotland, with 83% now reporting 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.
Underlining the resilience of Scottish charities, Mallon emphasises the continued challenges they face in the months to come. She adds:
“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.”
Photo by Lynda Hinton on Unsplash
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