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Data gathering for eighth ‘Managing in a Downturn’ kicks off

Data gathering for eighth ‘Managing in a Downturn’ kicks off

The data-gathering phase for the latest edition of the Institute of Fundraising’s Managing in a Downturn (MIAD) research is now under way.

Produced in collaboration with PwC, the eight instalment of the survey aims to track the “ongoing impact of the economic conditions on the charity sector” and explore “issues and challenges facing charitable organisations and fundraisers”.

The survey has been shortened this year so it should only take about 15 minutes to complete.

Questions include:

What are the key fundraising challenges?

• Higher targets

• Fewer resources/less investment internally

• Donors having less disposable income

• Donors’ uncertainty about economic security means less inclination to donate

• More competition from other fundraising organisations/charities

• Increased press and public scrutiny into fundraising practice and charities generally

What are important future challenges for the charity sector?

• Reduced grant funding from public bodies

• Increased costs to running a charity (bills, rent, business rates, suppliers etc)

• Having a workforce with the right skills for the future

• Increased expectations of donors and other stakeholders

• Competition between charities

• Reputational issues for the charity sector

In relation to your charity’s fundraising, do you plan to take any of the following actions?

• Employ more fundraisers

• Reduce the number of fundraisers

• Increase training for fundraisers

• Explore new fundraising options

• Look for collaborative working opportunities

• Look for efficiency savings

• Redistribute resources within the fundraising department

The 8th MIAD also asks if charities have taken steps to “enhance levels of transparency and disclosure of financial information” last 12 months and if they have, what has driven this, giving four options:

• Direction from the board of trustees

• Expectations of donors

• Adhering to best practice

• Influenced by other charities who are making disclosures

And it asks if charities have collaborated with other charities in their fundraising, programme delivery, policy and campaigning and shared staff and back office.

The seventh edition of the series – Managing in the New Normal – published last year, found that 90% of respondents felt that charities had fallen under a negative spotlight, and just over a fifth said that they felt this had negatively impacted their fundraising. Nearly half (49%) of charities said that over the last year they had taken steps to enhance levels of transparency and disclosure of financial information.

Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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