4 in 5 people worry that charities may close, stopping their services, due to weak economy

  • Anxious public may need convincing on "Big Society" resilience
  • "Sector should reassure  and mobilise public; government should reassure and support sector" vies nfpSynergy's Rebecca Molyneux

Over four fiths (82%) of the public say they are concerned about charities having to close, stopping their services, due to the economic malaise - according to data out today. 43% say the are "very" or "extremely" concerned.

Unsurprisingly, a similar number (79%) say they are concerned about charities not being able to raise enough money during the downturn - with 35% saying they are "very" or "extremely" concerned.

Moreover, nfpSynergy's recent 2009 State of the Sector Survey of third sector organisations suggest such public concerns are not baseless - only 9% of organisations then surveyed thought that the recession hadn't affected their organisation "at all"; and more than one third thought it had affected them "a lot" or "very much". 40% had made cuts in jobs, while 43% had made cuts in services or altered the services they offer.

nfpSynergy researcher, Rebecca Molyneux, said:

"Amidst calls for a 'Big Society', this data reveals the breadth and depth of public concern about charities' ability to actually step up and deliver services, indeed about their very survival. This should prompt the sector to reassure the public, where possible, but also to harness their concern to raise funds and mobilise much needed support. And it should doubtless prompt the new government to work to reassure and supprt the sector."

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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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