Charities are sceptical about the impact of social investment measures and want more support for Gift Aid in today’s Budget 2016, according to a survey by PwC, Charity Finance Group and Institute of Fundraising.
The annual survey, Managing in the New Normal 2016, was completed by 350 charities between December 2015 and January 2016.
Charities were asked to select two policies they would like to see the government announce in Budget 2016. The most popular measure was support for greater uptake of Gift Aid (71%) and investing in capacity building and training for charities in core areas such as finance, fundraising and governance (70%).
Growing the social investment market was the least popular with 21% of respondents selecting this option. 24% of respondents wanted more investment in the Charity Commission.
Respondents were also asked to assess the impact of a number of government policies announced at the Spending Review on the operating environment for charities.
Bringing forward the review into the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme received the most positive response with 37% of respondents saying that this would have a positive or very positive impact. Least welcomed was freezing the Charity Commission’s budget at £20m until the end of the decade with 50% of respondents saying it would have a negative or very negative impact on charities.
Charities were also sceptical about additional investment in Social Impact Bonds. 10% of respondents believed it would have a positive or very positive impact on the charity sector. 41% believed it would have no impact and 45% that it would have a limited impact.
In addition, 28% of respondents have concerns about the impact of the Apprenticeships Levy, which will create additional costs for the largest charities, saying that the measure would have a negative or very negative impact. Only 5% said the measure would have a positive or very positive impact.
Caron Bradshaw, chief executive, Charity Finance Group said:
“This survey is a call from the charity sector for the government to focus on the bread and butter issues affecting charities. Social investment has its place but maximising tax reliefs, providing support to invest in sector skills and effective regulation are core priorities. Although times are tough, the government should certainly reject any calls for more cuts to the Charity Commission.”
The full Managing in the New Normal 2016 is due for publication in early April.
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