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Majority of charities have used fundraising income to support public sector contracts, says NPC report

Majority of charities have used fundraising income to support public sector contracts, says NPC report

More than half of charities that deliver public sector contracts have to use other sources of income, such as money from fundraising, to do so.

64% say this is the case, with a further 57% having to turn down contracts because the operational risk is too high, according to New Philanthropy Capital (NPC)’s Charities taking charge: Transforming to face a changing world reportwhich questioned 400 charity chief executives and trustees on the extent and how they are transforming to deliver greater impact in a changing world.

Overall, 74% of charities expect to see their activities increase over the next three years. Half of charities questioned expect to be delivering more services or products in the future (50%) and building community capacity (46%), while around a third expect to be increasing their public facing campaigns (37%), or doing more research (35%), or working more with government to influence policy (32%). Just 11% expect to be delivering fewer public sector contracts.

In response to the challenging environment charities are operating in, the report reveals that the majority – 78% – have had discussions at board level about changing based on evidence or learning in the last 12 months while 59% are reviewing . Four in five charities (83%) say they have made a change following results from learning or evaluation, with half of that group (39% of all charities) reporting making a major change. Many are partnering with other organisations, with 52% expecting to be partnering more with other charities in three years’ time. 34% have also discussed merging with another organisation.

Patrick Murray, head of policy & external affairs at NPC, said:

“We found some charities thriving through focusing on activities that deliver the greatest impact; collaborating with new and existing partners; embracing diversity and a new attitude to risk; and harnessing new resources, from digital technology to beneficiaries and communities themselves.

“But the research identified many others struggling. If the sector is to step up to the challenge, leaders will need to think very differently about how to deliver impact in this changing world.”

Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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