With energy prices increasing monthly, a possible recession looming and inflation significantly impacting food shop costs, ONS has found that almost 80% of adults in the UK reported feeling extremely worried about the rising costs of living.
With this in mind, households are saving money and giving less to charities. The changes have been catastrophic, and donations are dropping below pre pandemic levels. Reduction in direct debits and one-off payments has dropped dramatically as food and bills take up the majority of household spending.
As costs rise, the charitable sector finds itself in a downward spiral - more and more households need support but the charities they might rely on are also facing support issues. These charities feel the strain under normal donation levels, a strain that has been magnified by the current crunch.
Specifically, Foodbanks are under intense pressure. The number of households who need their services increased dramatically throughout the pandemic and haven’t returned to pre-pandemic levels. They are seeing another increase in people requiring their help and are experiencing higher running costs.
The cost crisis can also affect recruitment, hiring and retaining good staff in an industry which already struggles to match the salaries and benefits in the private sector at a time when quality, dedicated individuals are needed more than ever.
What can be done to help?
The new UK leaders have a monumental task on their hands and protecting those most vulnerable and assisting charities should be a high priority. For example, Charities aren’t currently eligible for the government heating price cap as they are not households. As heating costs continue to rise, the strain will be ratcheted up, adding further pressure. Charitable struggles, unfortunately, were overlooked in the new mini budget which offered increased support to personal, corporate and religious entity taxes, but none for charity. Other avenues of government support include offering grants or zero-interest loans to struggling charities and putting together campaigns to raise public awareness of the struggles the sector is currently facing.
Assuming that little can be done to increase public donations during this difficult period, how can we, as individuals, make a difference? If additional financial support isn’t possible, offering time is a viable solution. Giving charities the opportunity to lower staffing costs through volunteering can certainly help and they need your support now more than ever. I work closely with many charities across the market, if you’re interested in giving your time to help, please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are options to offer support to the Not-for-Profit sector however, large sweeping changes are difficult to implement. For the time-being, small consistent changes are needed to keep this sector afloat in the interim while planning for larger reform across the industry.