Midweek Musings: Winter Cheer? Bah, Humbug!

The winter season is meant to be a time of caring, sharing and goodwill. But every so often something comes along that dampens our spirits. Looking for a bit of positive news about the charity sector’s fortunes over the last year, we turned to the Back Britain’s Charities campaign, who only two weeks ago reported the excellent news that the House of Commons had made changes to the Small Donations Bill making the small donations scheme much more accessible to charities. But alas, it was bad news that was forthcoming regarding a the results of a recent poll of predictions for the charities future.

You can read the full article here. However, to give you the gist, 81 per cent of 252 senior charity workers reported a ‘crisis’ in the sector, caused by the recent economic downturn which gave way to the controversial public spending cuts and an overall lower sum of money donated in the last year. Nine out of ten of those interviewed said that generating further income was the greatest forseeable challenge for the future of their charity, and JVN knows from first-hand experience that securing funding and donations is an extremely difficult matter.

This lack of funding is likely to have serious repurcussions for charities. 68 per cent of those surveyed said that their services had already been affected in some way, with staff cutbacks and a reduction in frontline services resulting in approximately one quarter of charities each. And the future is not much brighter, with 65 per cent not agreeing that the economic situation (the main cause of the problems) is likely to improve over the course of the next year.

So what can we do to mitigate the affects? Well, the Back Britain’s Charities campaign is continuing to pressurise the Government to make donations easier to handle for both the givers and the charities and businesses to show either greater financial or practical support for charities. In them meantime, individuals are encoruaged to keep regularly giving whatever they can spare. You can also voice your support for the campaign and show those in charge that we simply won’t stand to see our charities and the vital work they do lacking the support they need.

There is also a ray of hope. Charities were in a bad place in 2011 too, and research has showed here that donations did not tend to fall. You can read the article here. So we see that there’s always a better statge of affairs we can strive for, even in these hard times. We’ve been there, we’ve seen it happen, and we can do it again.


Categories: Midweek Musings, The Third Sector, Volunteering Issues, Volunteering Perspectives


Hi, I'm Mike, JVN's Youth Co-ordinator and blogger. I'll be blogging about all sorts of issues affecting the volunteering community, with a particular focus on how recent developments might affect the UK Jewish community's volunteers. I'm always interested to read the comments you make. If you have something you want to see in the JVN blog, e-mail me at mike@jvn.org.uk and I'll be happy to talk. And if you're inspired by any of my blogs to volunteer, log on to www.jvn.org.uk and register to find your perfect volunteering opportunity.


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2 Comments on “Midweek Musings: Winter Cheer? Bah, Humbug!”

  1. December 11, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

    I’ve just listened to a BBC Radio 4 discussion on giving – charity shops/ food banks/ giving generally. Pretty depressing really!
    But one thing coming through loud and clear is that people need to trust that the charity they give to is efficient – minimising back office costs, maximising spending on frontline services, paying staff moderate salaries etc etc. The scary ideas of merger and working more closely together were also mentioned… This is nothing new, but it is a constant challenge for charities to prove that they are squeaky clean with admin costs pared to the bone.
    Anyway, bah humbug notwithstanding, we must proceed with optimism, as the sector always has – and definitely support Back Britain’s Charities.

    • December 11, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

      Indeed, I’ve just added something to the bottom of the blog providing a smatter of optimism.

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