Borrower Survey Results 2016

Jun 05, 2017

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Our 2016 Borrower Survey gives us valuable insights on our impact, what we are doing well and how we can better support social sector organisations. Below is a summary of the feedback from our borrowers.

Strengthened organisations

Our borrower survey shows how our loans are helping to strengthen organisations across the UK, enabling them to make a bigger difference in their communities:

  • 97% of respondents said our loan contributed towards the achievement of their mission
  • 65% said our loan also led to improvements in how they managed their finances

"It has transformed us completely! We have been helped by Charity Bank to move from a small, cramped, rented unit on an industrial estate to the owner of our own building with a modern gym, studio space and double Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber."

- Amanda Saunders, Trustee of Swindon Therapy Centre for Multiple Sclerosis

"Charity Bank has enabled our organisation to revitalise, renew, upgrade and repair."

- Sue Relf, Manager of Community Wise

Unlocking further funding

Often our loan is the "last brick" that enables a long-awaited project to finally go ahead.

  • 46% said our loan helped them unlock additional sources of funding.

"Charity Bank stepped in to overcome our shortfall and allow us to complete our project."

- Rod Bowden, Llanfwrog Community Association
Bethel P28

Bethel Church used a Charity Bank loan to fund a new facility to cater for all the community work it does, and the people that meet as a church.


Often our loans fund projects that wouldn't have happened otherwise.

  • For those borrowers where the loan was funding a particular project, 74% said it would not have gone ahead without our loan.

“No loan no project. Simple as that.”

- Chris Izzard, Senior Pastor at the Riverside Church

"Charity Bank supported and had faith in us when traditional high street banks didn't want to know.”

- Josie Kelly, Chief Executive of Access to Business

Better outcomes for society

We support a wide range of organisations. Success comes in many different shapes and sizes: improved living conditions for elderly almshouse residents; thirty extra pre-school places in a neighbourhood with poor facilities;

  • 76% said the quality of service or support provided to clients improved because of our loan
  • 68% said the loan led to an expansion of their service provision

"It enabled us to build our own premises which will establish a legacy to future generations of the club membership."

- Andrew Haffner, Samurai Judo Club
M5 A4797

Shofar Daycare Nursery used a Charity Bank loan to purchase and develop its premises, providing 80 new childcare places in north London.

Areas for improvement

We also asked for feedback on any areas where we could improve our service. Whilst we are pleased to report that there were no specific areas of concern we did receive a few general comments about improving our loan process.

This is an area that we have been working on and we have taken steps to ensure that our loan process is efficient and straightforward for borrowers. For example we have recently undertaken and implemented a full revision of our loan agreement documentation.

What advice would you give to other organisations considering a loan?

We asked respondents what advice they would give to other organisations considering loan finance. Here is what they said:

"Develop a realistic business plan and cash flow forecast and engage with the Bank at an early stage."

"Take advantage of the Bank's expertise and the commitment to relationship building that allows you to have greater confidence in taking on a loan."

"Engage with the Bank and share any key concerns. Ask lots of questions."

"Definitely speak to Charity Bank as they understand the voluntary sector and will give you the time and understanding that you will not find on the high street!"

Aegon16 3799 Volunteers

Ilkley Lawn Tennis & Squash Club used a Charity Bank loan to renovate their facilities and expand their services.

What makes Charity Bank different?

Survey respondents told us that they value our understanding of, and care for, each individual organisation, our traditional relationship banking approach and willingness to tailor our support and funding.

Factors that influenced new borrowers to choose Charity Bank included our charitable objects, our social sector ownership, our knowledge of the sector and the personal commitment of our staff.

  • 99% of respondents would recommend CB to another organisation

“What makes Charity Bank different is that it employs people who understand what an organisation is trying to achieve, genuinely cares about the project's success and offers solutions to problems in addition to money.”

- Anne Pierson, Director of Sedbergh & District Arts & Heritage Trust

Source: Charity Bank 2016 Borrower Survey. This survey was sent to borrowers with drawn loans as at 1st October 2016. 82 responses were received from the 258 borrowers invited to participate (32% response rate). Additional questions were sent to new borrowers with loans drawn since our last survey in 2014. Among these borrowers 30 responses were received from the 85 borrowers invited to participate (35% response rate).