Grassroots charities fearful for the future as 98% concerned about the impact of the cost of living crisis on their organisation’s ability to achieve their aims.

Grassroots charities and community interest companies (CIC’s) across the UK have indicated clearly that the rising cost of living is putting an immense stress on their abilities to deliver their goals and projects, a new survey from Localgiving has revealed.

52% described themselves as very concerned and 46% concerned about the impact of rising costs on their organisations abilities to achieve their aims.

Taking a view of their current financial status, against that of a year ago, 49% of respondents said they were worse off, 37% about the same and only 12% said they were better off.

It’s the electricity bill that worries most, with 75% putting that as their principal concern, followed by 55% citing the gas/heating bill and then petrol/travel costs at 33% being the biggest fear.

In addition to the rising costs, there’s a negativity around donation levels, with 38% thinking they will decrease significantly, 34% decreasing a little and only 12% anticipating any kind of increase.

Looking forward twelve months, 43% think they will be worse off, 37% about the same, and only 12% said they thought they’d be better off.

This worry is having a major impact on those working or volunteering for these charities with 44% stating they were worried, 31% stressed and only 18% feeling optimistic.

And a direct effect on their operations with 70% increasing their fundraising efforts, 74% requesting additional grants, and 55% cutting back on non-essential spending.

The economic challenge has made online fundraising more crucial than ever with 85% seeing it as important, and 85% of our survey takers also describing grants as crucial.

Despite the recent announcement from the UK government that there will be direct assistance in capping energy bills, this survey of 124 UK grassroots charities carried out between the 6th and 15th September 2022 paints a gloomy view of the sector. Within the additional comments were requests for access to greater grant funding that could help cover the costs of running the charity, and not just specific to projects, grants that factored in the rising costs of project delivery and greater government and corporate support.

Alex Williamson, CEO of Localgiving, speaking on the publication of the survey; “We know that the grassroots charity sector is greatly worried about the rising cost of living and the impact this will have on both their ability to achieve their aims and the level of donations they receive. In what is likely to be a difficult Winter for most, vulnerable communities will be hardest hit, and many of our charities work directly in supporting these groups. Losing this support would be disastrous for many across the UK.

“As our survey shows, increasing fundraising and having access to grants is more important than ever, and all the team here at Localgiving are proud to help support thousands of community groups every year. But we also call on the government to provide greater support to those who need it most, and for corporate grantmakers to increase their offerings, in a time of unprecedented need, they can help make a real impact and build a genuine legacy in communities across the country” concluded Williamson.

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