The Charity Commission has published the results of a survey into the impact of COVID-19 on charities. The survey was completed in July and August this year by almost 2,000 charities and illustrates that, although lockdowns have been lifted, the pandemic is still causing serious issues for charities.
Nearly all of the responding charities (91%) have experienced a negative impact due to COVID-19, the most common reasons being having to postpone or cancel events, volunteers being unable to work and being unable to hold meetings. The most common operational challenge reported is the frustration of not knowing when a charity will be able to return to resume its usual activities. The most common impact on beneficiaries (47%) was reported as being increased loneliness and isolation.
Many charities (45%) have adapted in order to respond to the pandemic and continue to deliver services. 40% had used financial reserves. 49% also reported that the pandemic had led to better use of digital technology amongst their staff and 29% had seen improved use of digital technology amongst beneficiaries.
The survey also shows the impact of the pandemic on charity staff. 43% of charities reported that over three quarters of their staff had been furloughed at some point and 14% of charities have had to make over three quarters of their staff redundant. However, 91% did not expect to make any current staff redundant over the next year.
34% of the charities surveyed expect to generate less revenue from fundraising and donations in 2022 and many charities reported that they would like the Commission to assist charities with finding and accessing grants.