Capacitybuilders’ fifth and final survey of local support providers, published today, shows 56% of respondents reporting a fall in income, compared to just 14% saying that their income grew during the same period.
Widening the gap
The gap has widened considerably over the past 12 months between organisations reporting a decrease and those saying that they have seen an increase in income.
Impact of funding loss
The survey suggests that support providers are increasingly being affected by reductions or loss of funding from three key sources: Local Government, Grants / Trusts and National Government Departments:
- nearly half (46%) of respondents reported cuts in funding from local authorities – more than double the proportion from the first survey in May / June 2009
- a third (33%) have received a reduction in income from grant giving bodies and other trusts
- just over a quarter (26%) report funding cuts from National Government Departments.
Looking for options to generate funding
A significant proportion of support providers have looked at options around generating funding for themselves; results from the latest survey shows that nearly a third (31%) reported an increase in earned income – more than double that from the first survey (14%).
In response to falling income, over half of support providers have reduced the number of staff.
This has risen markedly since the first survey, when only 12% of organisations had cut staff.
Increase in merger plans
There has also been an increase in organisations planning merger; 21% reported such plans, up from 13% in 2009.
Lack of new services
Meanwhile, fewer organisations are planning to deliver new services and collaboration has remained stable at just under 50%.
Executive Chair of Capacitybuilders, Stephen Dunmore, commented:
“We know that many support providers in civil society are facing uncertainty, with incomes falling across the sector. In response, many organisations are cutting staff and refocusing their services.
We are hopeful that the actions they take now will allow them to continue to support those most in need in the coming years.”
Demand for services remains high
The survey also shows that the vast majority of support providers continue to see an increase in demand for their services from frontline voluntary and community organisations.
Whilst a significant proportion (45%) indicate that they are coping with increased demand, this is the lowest proportion from across each of the five surveys.
About the Survey
The first survey in the series took place in May/June 2009.
This is the fifth and final survey that Capacitybuilders will run. We are hopeful that the survey will be undertaken by another funder in future.
Find out more
All survey findings will be published by Capacitybuilders on the Improving Support website