Charity expectations of the recession 50% worse than in December 08, says new research

14th July 2009

Keith Hickey, Chief Executive of the Charity Finance Directors' Group, says:

“Good financial planning, cash flow forecasting and liquidity are essential tools for charities to maximise their position in the current climate. It must be remembered that reserves are there to help manage risks and to fund opportunities and now is the time for charities that have built up reserves to use them to maintain services for beneficiaries. Finance directors need to show leadership, and they need to work closely with fundraising directors to plan for the coming year.”

Lindsay Boswell, Chief Executive of the Institute of Fundraising, comments:

“By bringing together fundraisers and finance directors and using the wider perspective of PricewaterhouseCoopers this report provides a unique insight into attitudes and experiences of charities currently in the grip of recession. It’s important that all charities pause to take a sense-check of thinking and attitudes to ensure a sound strategy to manage in the current climate. At the same time, fundraisers need to continue to plan for the future – building partnerships with donors and supporters, and continuing to establish meaningful and long-lasting relationships with them.”

Ian Oakley-Smith, Director, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, adds:

“Many Boards of Trustees of charities will need to demonstrate not only strong leadership skills, but also to think strategically and to challenge perceived wisdom. In particular, they need to think about whether collaboration with other charities or even mergers might provide a more robust environment in which to operate. This may not be popular, but in some cases may help charities to maintain services to beneficiaries.”



A full copy of the research report is available on request from the Institute of Fundraising, Charity Finance Directors’ Group and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP press offices.

For further information please contact:

Diana Mackie Tel. 020 7840 1027 / 07793 802 852
Institute of Fundraising email:

Katherine Howbrook Tel. 020 7212 2711
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP email:
Derek Nash Tel. 020 7804 3058
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP email:


This survey was conducted among the members of the Charity Finance Directors Group and the Institute of Fundraising. There were 198 responses from large, medium and small charities. 13% of respondents were classified as small (total income less than £1m), 55% of respondents were classified as medium (total income of between £1m and £10m) and 32% as large (total income of above £10m).

Total income gap calculations: The research results show that the median expected income reduction is around 7.5%. 7.5% of total UK charity income (£33.2bn – source: The National Council for Voluntary Organisations) amounts to a potential shortfall of approximately £2.5bn.

Charity Finance Directors’ Group: The Charity Finance Directors' Group ( was set up in 1987 and is an umbrella group that specialises in helping charities to manage their finance-related functions. CFDG has over 1600 members who are responsible for the finances of charities with a wide variety of income levels. Between them our members manage some £14.7 billion in charity income per year.

Institute of Fundraising: The Institute of Fundraising’s ( mission is to support fundraisers, through leadership, representation, standards setting and education, to deliver excellent fundraising. Members are supported through training, networking, the dissemination of best practice and representation on issues that affect the fundraising environment. The Institute of Fundraising is the largest individual representative body in the voluntary sector with 4600 Individual members and 280 Organisational members

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP: PricewaterhouseCoopers provides industry-focused assurance, tax and advisory services to build public trust and enhance value for its clients and their stakeholders. More than 155,000 people in 153 countries across our network share their thinking, experience and solutions to develop fresh perspectives and practical advice. "PricewaterhouseCoopers" refers to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (a limited liability partnership in the United Kingdom) or, as the context requires, the PricewaterhouseCoopers global network or other member firms in the network, each of which is a separate and independent legal entity.

  • Email
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Linkedin

© Charity Finance Group / © Charities Resource Network / Registered Office: 15-18 White Lion Street, London, N1 9PG.
A Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered in England No. 3182826, Registered Charity No. 1054914, Registered VAT No. 945 6038 09.