Is your fundraising strategy up to the resilience test?

CAF's latest research and what it means for UK charities.

Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) recently published its latest research on how the cost-of-living crisis has affected the Third Sector. CAF’s Resilience Index contains several key findings relating to the challenges charities are facing, their concerns about the future and the demands on their services.

It makes for sobering reading. Only one in three charities are highly confident in their funding and more than half of UK charities are worried about their survival. In the North of England, where demand on services shows a 67% increase (the highest in the country), 63% of charities say they are they are more likely to have used their reserves to meet running costs.

Whilst it may be too early to talk about hope on the horizon, one positive finding in CAF’s study is that the overall Charity Resilience Index has risen from 62% in December 2022, to 67% in January 2023. The Index, which combines four months of data, reveals a picture of charities being stretched by multiple external factors, but doing their best to make plans for the future.

What can charities do?

Whilst the challenges facing charities now may be different to those encountered during the pandemic, in our experience, much of the advice remains the same; invest in reviewing your fundraising strategy, build in the flexibility you need and focus on diversifying your income streams. Those who demonstrated this sort of proactive approach to the restrictions posed by Covid were often the ones that survived and even thrived as a result. Many small charities applied their unique understanding of local communities to re-route or tweak vital services to where they were needed most. In becoming more agile, their impact broadened, visibility increased and, in some cases, their volunteer numbers went through the roof.

“CAF’s latest research accurately captures people’s reliance on the essential services that charities provide,” says Gifted’s Chief Executive, Amy Stevens. “From food banks, to debt advice and mental health support, these services are both a safety-net and a bridge to better things. As consultants, our role is to expertly guide fundraising and volunteer leaders in developing more resilience and continuing to be such an extraordinary force for good in our lives.”

If your organisation is working out its resilience plan and you’d like to find out more about a Fundraising Strategy Review, get in touch with one of our Directors or take a look at the range of services we offer.