Charities and social enterprises forced to pull back on services amid income reductions

Oct 01, 2020

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The events of 2020 have forced charities and social enterprises to reduce their services in the face of declining revenues, new research from Charity Bank today reveals.

The loans and savings bank for positive social change polled more than 100 of its charity and social enterprise customers to understand how they have been impacted by the pandemic this year. COVID-19 has had significant financial implications with 58% of respondents seeing their income reduce. 1 Almost half (49%) feel that they have been unable to effectively deliver services, while 52% have delayed projects and 60% have had to temporarily close services.

To manage through these challenges and respond to the increased social needs triggered by the pandemic, 54% have refocused their activities, 47% have furloughed employees and 32% are taking advantage of business rate relief. In adapting to the pandemic, 80% have found new uses for technology, 46% moved services online and 35% commenced new collaborations.

Ed Siegel, Chief Executive at Charity Bank, said: “Two thirds of people in the UK have used the services of charities and social sector organisations over the last five years.2 As we went into lockdown, jobs were lost, lots of people were left isolated and lonely, mental health was threatened and healthcare resources were stretched to the limit. But at a time when our need for social sector support was accelerating, charities and social enterprises were facing abrupt declines in income and many were unable to maintain the same levels of service.

“What’s promising, is that we can see some signs of the sector rebounding. Our loan approvals for the year are now running ahead of plan, giving us a clear sign that some services are resuming and organisations are focusing on growth again. It remains a difficult year but, with the right support and sustainable funding, these organisations can emerge from the pandemic stronger and more impactful. Charity Bank is committed to supporting UK charities and social enterprises, as they navigate the journey to recovery and long-term resilience.”

1 Charity Bank polled 107 charity and social enterprises (31% of its current borrowers) in July and August 2020.

2 Research conducted by Opinium with 2,000 adult participants across the U.K. between March 24th and 27th, 2020

About Charity Bank

Charity Bank is the loans and savings bank for charities, social enterprises and people who want to make the world a better place. It uses its savers’ money to provide much needed loans to UK organisations working to drive positive social change – bringing benefits for people, communities and the environment.

Since 2002, Charity Bank has made more than 1000 loans totalling £300m to housing, education, social care, community and other social purpose organisations. Charity Bank is owned by social purpose organisations and aims to use its expertise, commitment and flexible approach to lending, to help charities and social enterprises get the support and funding they need.

Important information

Registered Office: The Charity Bank Limited, Fosse House, 182 High Street, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1BE. Company registered in England and Wales No. 4330018. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Financial Services Register No. 207701. The services/products referred to in this document are intended for use by United Kingdom (UK) residents only. Nothing in this press release constitutes an invitation to engage in investment activity nor is it advice or a recommendation and professional advice should be taken before any course of action is pursued.