How deep is the recession biting? Survey launched today will uncover if charities are coping

4th January 2013

A major survey of senior fundraising and finance professionals in the charity sector has begun today, the sixth in a series designed to track the recession’s impact on the charity sector. Survey results will be revealed at a pre-Budget breakfast debate on 15 March 2013 with finance and fundraising sector leaders.

The Managing in a Downturn series, produced by PwC, Charity Finance Group (CFG) and the Institute of Fundraising (IoF), has been charting how charities are coping in economic decline since 2008. Over 400 charities responded to last year’s survey Managing charities in the new normal - a perfect storm?, providing a real insight into how they are responding to funding cuts and increasing demand for services.

Caron Bradshaw, CFG Chief Executive, said: “The announcements in December’s Autumn Statement - downgraded economic forecasts, continued austerity and cuts to welfare – acted as a stark reminder that as a sector, we’re still walking on very thin ice. These surveys are invaluable in showing what’s really happening on the ground, and this year we expect to see evidence of bold moves from charities to tackle funding gaps, such as creative partnerships or tapping into reserves to fund new projects.”

PwC Director Ian Oakley-Smith said that previous surveys indicated collaboration was on the up, as charities increasingly work together to reduce the cost of competition: “They are also finding innovative ways of coping with challenges to the economic climate. We anticipate that the results of this survey will reflect a significant further move in this direction, together with increasingly diverse ways of raising much needed funding."

IoF Chief Executive Peter Lewis added: “In last year’s survey almost all (93%) the charities that took part reported a tougher fundraising climate, and 1 in 5 of them said that they had considered merger as a means of survival. Charities are faced with continuing economic uncertainty and reduced income. I hope this year’s survey will show how resilient the sector continues to be, able to innovate and adapt to this changing environment.”

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Notes to Editors:

1. Managing in a Downturn
The Managing in a Downturn series has surveyed senior fundraising and finance professionals in the charity sector since 2008 to chart the impact of the recession. This survey will be the sixth in the series.

The survey can be found here and closes on 1 February 2013.

2. Charity Finance Group
CFG is the charity that champions best practice in finance management in the voluntary sector. Our training and development programmes enable finance managers to give the essential leadership on finance strategy and management that their charities need. With more than 2,000 members, managing over £21.5bn, we are uniquely placed to challenge regulation which threatens the effective use of charity funds. For more information, please see

3. 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 5300 Individual members and 340 organisational members.

4. PwC
PwC helps organisations and individuals create the value they’re looking for. We’re a network of firms in 158 countries with more than 180,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax and advisory services. Tell us what matters to you and find out more by visiting us at

PwC refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see for further details.

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