1 in 3 people fear future dependence on state handouts, 1 in 5 fear charity aid

  • Younger people and women generally more anxious than older people and men
  • “Dangerous irony: state & charity face ‘Big Society’ cuts just as many people fear they’re about to be most needed”, warns nfpSynergy’s Saxton

A third (34%) and a fifth (20%) of the public say (slide 2) they are fairly or very worried about needing future financial assistance, from the state and from charities respectively, according to new data. Younger people and women are generally more worried about this than older people and men.

Leading not-for-profit sector research consultancy nfpSynergy’s Charity Awareness Monitor regularly surveys a representative sample of 1000 16+ year olds throughout mainland Britain, asking them a range of charity-related questions - including gauging what future scenarios they most fear regarding their financial wellbeing.

Such concerns fundamentally relate to the current weak economic climate, as borne out in other findings (slides 3 & 4). Financial factors - such as the possibility of poverty in old age (53%), difficulty paying utility bills (43%) or mortgage/rent (38%), managing debts (35%) or job loss (33%) - dominate respondents’ fears, as does the possibility of being personally affected by the cuts in public spending (51%).

nfpSynergy’s Driver of Ideas, Joe Saxton, comments:

“This data shows that, amidst ongoing economic uncertainty, significant numbers of people - not least amongst women and the young - are worried they may need to seek financial assistance from either the state or from charities in the future. It highlights what is perhaps an obvious dangerous irony: that the state and our charities face ‘Big Society’ cuts at just the time when many people fear they are about to be most needed. The Government, voluntary sector and nation at large can only hope these fears, against that backdrop, don’t presage actual imminent widespread hardship.”

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MEDIA COMMENT: To interview nfpSynergy’s Joe Saxton about these findings, please contact him direct on 07976 329 212 or joe.saxton@nfpsynergy.net; or, alternatively, contact Adrian Gillan (0774 086 7215; E: adrian@gillanmedia.com) for further assistance.

Note to editors:

nfpSynergy (www.nfpsynergy.net) is the UK’s only research consultancy dedicated to the charity sector and not-for-profit issues. It provides ideas, insights and information to help voluntary and community organisations thrive in an ever-changing world. Regularly harvesting the social and charity-related views of public and parliament, media and business - not to mention not for profit organisations themselves - nfpSynergy has a vast and ever-growing knowledge pool from which to extract and deliver insights.

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Public Fears

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