Optimism amidst uncertainty for small charities

Posted 03 Dec 2018 | Our News | Weston Charity Awards

Small charities are optimistic about their prospects in 2019 despite increasing uncertainty. The majority (84%) of its leaders expect to maintain or increase organisational income in 2019 and over three quarters say they plan to help more people. However, this optimism does not appear to be borne out of stability for the sector, as two thirds report more uncertainty in their operating environments than in previous years. These findings, based on research amongst 371 sector leaders, appear in a sector insight report published today to mark the opening of applications to the Weston Charity Awards.

In 2014, the Garfield Weston Foundation established the Weston Charity Awards in collaboration with Pilotlight. In 2019, each of the twenty winning charities will benefit from a year of leadership coaching through the Pilotlight Programme along with £6,500 in unrestricted funding.

Philippa Charles, Director of Garfield Weston Foundation said:

"Small charity leaders are under enormous pressure to steer their organisations through uncertain times. We are delighted to support those showing enormous creativity and resilience through these Awards and to help them reach their goals."

Other highlights of the Weston Charity Awards Small Charity Leader Insight Report 2018/19:

  • Increased optimism - Two in five small charities expect income to rise and around half expect to maintain current levels. Only one in eight forecast a drop in 2019 compared to a third at this point last year. Nearly four in five say they plan to help more people in 2019 compared to nearly three in five at the end of 2017.
  • Changing environment - Four in five of charity leaders say local people provide good or excellent levels of support but most (82%) said they didn’t get enough support from central government and nearly half said local government support was insufficient.
  • Challenges - Well over two thirds of leaders said they had struggled to comply with new regulation and best practice over the past 12 months. Over a quarter of charities had to deal with the loss of a major funding source.
  • Job satisfaction - Four out of five said they would recommend working for a small charity to a friend.

Gillian Murray, Chief Executive of Pilotlight, a charity that matches the Weston Charity Awards winners with business mentors for a year of strategic business planning support, said:

"Small charity leaders are versatile and know how to get things done under incredible pressure. In uncertain times, adaptability and flexibility are key. The strategic knowhow charity leaders gain through these Awards will help them navigate successfully towards a sustainable future."

To read the Weston Charity Awards Small Charity Leader Insight Report in full click here.