Charities Run Out of Money — Just When They Need it Most
The voluntary sector has asked the Government to provide assistance. In February, the Government announced a £42.5m bailout, which was less than a tenth of the £500m that struggling charities said they needed to ride out the recession. The money will only go to those charities that are dealing with the direct fallout of the recession, leaving many organisations forced to battle the credit crunch on their own.
Recent research by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations showed cash donations to charities fell by £367m to £1.3bn in 2007-08 compared to 2006-07.
Phil Lloyd at the Dame Hannah Rogers Trust, which provides therapy and care for children with profound disabilities in Devon and Cornwall, said demand for its charitable services increased by 73 per cent over the past year, but donations had dropped by a third over the same period. "As even tougher times threaten, charities face many difficulties," he said. "Running costs have risen and falling property prices diminish the value of legacies. Add to that a reduction in not only public but corporate donations as businesses hit the reality of recession."
St Luke's Hospice in Plymouth, which cares for more than 2,000 terminally ill patients every year at a cost of more than £5m, is facing a £500,000 shortfall because of knock-on effects on the charity's investments, which have reduced in value by £120,000, and has had to make a number of staff redundant.
Acorns: 'Making redundancies has been heartbreaking'
Acorns is a charity with three children's hospices in the West Midlands caring for 600 desperately ill patients. Despite the publicity it received when Aston Villa agreed to display the Acorns logo on club shirts for nothing this season, the charity has experienced a decline in donations.
David Strudley, Acorns' chief executive, explains why it is now having to make 14 staff redundant: "In the course of about six weeks before Christmas corporate and private donations just dried up. It was like suddenly going over a cliff. It was so quick and so fast.