Perfect storm for charities?

Recent reports have suggested that charities are heading into a perfect storm, so we all need to be as prepared as we can be.


  • CAF’s 2020 Giving Report suggested that public giving has remained fairly constant, but with winners and losers. Understandably, NHS charities and hospices have seen an increase, whilst medical research charities have seen a fall.
  • Many charities rely on income from charity shops and community fundraising events, and of course these have been seriously interrupted by COVID-19.
  • More charities have successfully turned to digital fundraising, and this may continue even after we can meet again.
  • Funding of statutory and local authority services is under pressure, with perhaps more reduced budgets to come.


Demand for services is increasing, and particularly amongst those affected by loneliness, mental health issues and age or mobility related issues.

Linked with reduced income, more charities are using reserves to make up a shortfall whilst they deal with increased demand for their services. Of course, that is not a sustainable model.

Your action plan

There are some signs of hope in the statistics above, and with the promise of continued vaccine rollout allowing a phased removal of restrictions.

I hope that your Board is really on top of the situation, but I would recommend considering these tools, which may help with clarity and decision-making:

  • STEEPLE analysis of the external environment, and how you see it changing over the next 12 months (or whatever time frame you plan for)
  • Internal SWOT to check you are in the best shape you can be, and to identify any opportunities
  • Theory of Change to focus on the impact you are trying to deliver, so you can better equipped to make decisions about where to allocate resources (especially if they are reducing just for now) and where to collaborate with others.

If you would like to talk about how to best use these tools, perhaps as part of a Board or Management Team virtual retreat, why not start with a free 20-minute insight call, which you can book through our website using this link.