The events of 2020 have forced charities and social enterprises to reduce their services in the face of declining revenues, new research from Charity Bank reveals.
The loans and savings bank for positive social change polled more than 100 of its charity and social enterprise customers to understand how they have been impacted by the pandemic this year. COVID-19 has had significant financial implications with 58% of respondents seeing their income reduce. 1 Almost half (49%) feel that they have been unable to effectively deliver services, while 52% have delayed projects and 60% have had to temporarily close services.
To manage through these challenges and respond to the increased social needs triggered by the pandemic, 54% have refocused their activities, 47% have furloughed employees and 32% are taking advantage of business rate relief. In adapting to the pandemic, 80% have found new uses for technology, 46% moved services online and 35% commenced new collaborations.
Ed Siegel, Chief Executive at Charity Bank, said: “Two thirds of people in the UK have used the services of charities and social sector organisations over the last five years.2 As we went into lockdown, jobs were lost, lots of people were left isolated and lonely, mental health was threatened and healthcare resources were stretched to the limit. But at a time when our need for social sector support was accelerating, charities and social enterprises were facing abrupt declines in income and many were unable to maintain the same levels of service.
“What’s promising, is that we can see some signs of the sector rebounding. Our loan approvals for the year are now running ahead of plan, giving us a clear sign that some services are resuming and organisations are focusing on growth again. It remains a difficult year but, with the right support and sustainable funding, these organisations can emerge from the pandemic stronger and more impactful. Charity Bank is committed to supporting UK charities and social enterprises, as they navigate the journey to recovery and long-term resilience.”