London: +44 (0)20 7236 2601
St Albans: +44 (0)1727 869141
Rickmansworth: +44 (0) 1923 771010
Milton Keynes: +44 (0)1908 605552

Charities in recession

A recent survey undertaken by the Charity Commission showed that 58% of charities this year were affected by the recession compared to 38% last year.

Of these charities 69% have seen a fall in investment income and nearly 20% have seen a decrease in legacy income.

During these troubling times there are a few essential tips to remember:

1) Cash is king

Manage your cash flow – if necessary review your cash flow forecasts on a weekly basis. Don’t spend money before you have it and always make sure you are not spending restricted monies inappropriately.

2) Good Governance

Poor governance means that an organisation is less well equipped to react and adapt to change.  Take time to ensure the organisation has a clear strategy and people with the right skills for the job.  Share knowledge across the organisation, using multi skilling and flexibility of staff to ensure the organisation is using its resources as efficiently as possible.

3) Be prepared

Think ahead. Scenario plan for the worst possible outcome so that decisions can be made quickly if things get worse.

4) Review your relationship with your funders and major grant givers and make sure you are clear what the money is you have been given is for – it may be that restrictions on donations are not as constrictive as was originally thought.

5) Ask for help

Seek professional advice as soon as you think you might need it – there may be ways to rescue the organisation, perhaps through mergers or collaborations with other charities.


Louise Giles is a charities expert and a manager at Mercer & Hole.  If you would like to discuss the contents of this post with Louise you can call her on 01727 869141

We will be blogging on SME Plus Blog and Tax Plus Blog on Pre-Budget Report day.  If you do not already subscribe to our blogs click here for SME Plus Blog or here for Tax Plus Blog to ensure you get our comment and analysis as and when it happens. 



Date: 9th December, 2009
Author: Louise Giles


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