Charities urged to prepare for a challenging year ahead

The National Council for Voluntary Organisation’s (NCVO) latest report suggests that charities could have a particularly challenging year ahead of them and so it is urging the sector to prepare.

With the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) predicting growth of 1.6 per cent (less than the EU average of 2 per cent) the NCVO are concerned that this could see the government pull back on investment in charities, as well as limit the public’s ability to donate.

Taking this into consideration, there is likely to be a disparity between the demand on services offered by charities and what charities have the capacity to deliver in 2019.

The NCVO’s annual report, The Road Ahead, highlights the difficulties charities may encounter because of political, economic, socio-cultural and technological influences and how exactly this is likely to impact upon their growth and operational development.

It states, ‘the sooner charities reflect on these challenges and identify the opportunities ahead, the better prepared they will be to respond.’

The report points to Brexit as a key concern going into 2019; though recognising that it is difficult to predict precisely what will happen to our economy in the coming year, it suggests that the pressure on voluntary sector funding is likely to remain.

UK-based charities receive some £300m in funding from the EU’s European Social Fund (ESF) each year and while the government purports to be putting safeguards in place to ensure that this money is still available to charities, how this will work is yet to be determined.

With such political disarray, charities are finding it increasingly difficult to get their voices heard.

What does the report recommend?

Among several other recommendations that the NCVO make in its report, it suggests that charities should

  • seek to familiarise themselves with technological advancements to engage supporters and facilitate donations;
  • continue to raise standards to meet public expectation; and
  • take advantage of opportunities to continue to engage with and build trusted relationships with donors and the public.

How can George Hay help?

We know that managing a charity or social enterprise in the current economic climate can be challenging. That is why we have a specialist team on hand to support the not-for-profit sector; providing audit, independent examination reports, accounting, taxation and advisory services to charities, academies, clubs and social enterprises of all sizes.

Whether you need help with appraising governance procedures, setting accounting policies or tax planning, or you need advice about diversification of income streams, we are here for you.

To speak to one of our experts about how we can work with you in the year ahead, contact us today on 01462 708810.

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