A report has been published that consolidates the findings of over 80 reports and data sources and outlines post pandemic trends and forecasts for the charity sector.
After the Storm – Charity Horizons is by Leesa Harwood from By the Waves Charity Consulting, and has been peer reviewed by Karl Wilding and Tim Willett. Examining the charity sector as it emerges from the pandemic, it is a comprehensive look at the main findings from the various reports and data sources available, highlighting the key facts, figures and trends, and what they mean for individual organisations. Areas covered include economic and resourcing trends, income generation data, governance, and risk insight.
In the foreword, Harwood says that as the sector emerges from the pandemic, leaders are trying to understand its impact on the sector. However, because going through the hundreds of reports available takes up a lot of time, she has compiled the report to help, saying:
“Whilst there is nothing new in this report, it aims to consolidate and compare findings from over 80 data sources about the current state of the charity sector, and future trends affecting its sustainability and viability. By pulling together some of the most credible, insightful publications and projections I hope to make it easier for you to identify areas of consensus and emerging trends. I’ll also highlight any notable outlier opinions or forecasts.”
From her analysis of the reports available, Harwood highlights a number of key themes:
- Financial uncertainty – with the potential for rising inflation rates and costs and risks to income to result in a sector income shortfall of up to £5 billion.
- Erosion of donor numbers – with an ongoing, albeit small, decline in the number of people donating.
- Difficult decisions ahead – due to increasing demand for services and falling income.
- Technology gap – leaving an urgent need for charities to work to embrace, understand and better use tech so it works for societal improvement rather than against it.
- Cultural transformation – with a growing need for new perspectives, competencies and approaches the sector needs to work much harder to attract a diverse range of people.
- Risk mitigation – with the pandemic highlighting the need for strong, competent collaborative teams, with clear lines of risk accountability and robust contingency planning processes.
While the next few years will be difficult for the sector, Harwood also notes that “there are opportunities too, because challenges inevitably create the impetus necessary to change and improve.“
The full report can be downloaded for free from the By the Waves site.