UPDATE: This is what we have learnt in the third week of our triage and business support programme. This initiative targets sub £1m charities and social enterprises, and provides a mix of pro bono and paid consultancy. We will be reporting regularly as way to contribute to the unfolding picture of social sector needs….
- 23 charities and social enterprises have applied to the programme and received support (mostly sub £1m turnover).
- Responses have come from across the country (Lancashire to Sussex and including Northern Ireland) and from diverse sectors – animal welfare, CYP support, care for people with dementia, prison resettlement etc.
- Our Pro Bono Bank now includes 27 professionals who have offered time in areas covering finance, IT, e-commerce, charity management, fundraising, governance and HR.
- Organisational impacts continue to be very differential, depending on income sources, client group/delivery location, extent of reliance on volunteers and capacity to be adaptive.
- Financial threats (loss of significant income stream & insufficient cash flow) are the main concern in this cohort (71%), followed by moving to new ways of working (service redesign & digital delivery with 32%). A number of organisations highlighted threats to community leadership/engagement.
- Our advisors have found that a number of organisations are seeing opportunities in digital engagement/service delivery. There could be big paybacks from supporting them to realise these opportunities.
- Faring worst are small social enterprises or charities who have been encouraged to diversify/earn income but also, at the other end of the spectrum, large not for profits who are highly dependent on funding from individual donations and events (eg cancer charities).
- There are a number of organisations who were only marginally viable before Covid started. It is unclear whether they will survive. The crisis prompts hard questions about the case for continuing and the legal issue of solvency status is a real issue.
- More funding announcements will come shortly including the Lottery’s launch of the £300m government grants scheme. We anticipate this being one of the main funding channels for this cohort to survive and prepare for post COVID.
- We now expect the greatest threat to social sector organisations to shift towards the end of 2020. Some will miss out but most will benefit from funders and statutory bodies being very flexible and changing terms to enable organisations to meet immediate cash needs.
- Planning for the third and fourth quarters of the year, post or partially post lockdown, is becoming essential for many, with reactivation and re-engagement costs and challenges to be identified and met, but fatigue and pressures of the moment are delaying this thinking.
If you’d like to take up our support or know others who might please use this link here: Business Continuity Support Survey