More than half of charities say their finances are uncertain or in difficulty as a result of the pandemic

A SURVEY OF more than 2,000 charities in Ireland has revealed more than half are facing financial uncertainty or difficulties as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A total of 2,223 responses were received by the Charities Regulator, the State agency responsible for oversight in the sector, which carried out the research. 

It found that 55% of respondents said their charities finances were uncertain or in difficulty. 

While 29% of respondents indicated that their charity did not fundraise, of the 71% of respondents who said that their charities do fundraise, some 90% stated that their charities have had to cancel or postpone fundraising for 2020.

Some 54% of respondents were concerned that their charity may be unable to continue providing services for more than six months. Within this group, approximately 9% of respondents were concerned that they may not be able to provide services for more than one month, 28% for more than three months, and 17% for more than six months.

In spite of concerns around financial uncertainty into the future, many charities did indicate they are taking a proactive approach to protect services being provided. 

Some 45% of those surveyed said they felt their charity’s finances were reasonably secure. 

Some 73% of respondents said their charity trustees continued to communicate via email or by meeting remotely. 

Meanwhile, some 52% said that they had reached out to other charities to discuss plans to deal with the current situation. 

Some 89% of respondents said that due to Covid-19, they regarded their charity’s annual reporting obligations and maintaining an accurate Register of Charities to be as important as always.

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“Good governance of charities is crucial for maintaining public trust and confidence and is particularly important during this public health emergency,” said Helen Martin, chief executive of the Charities Regulator said. 

“The findings of our survey indicate that the Covid-19 public health emergency is having a very serious impact on registered charities.

“Charities on the front line and others are being called upon to provide services in response to a significant increase in demand from those in need, while at the same time trying to protect their volunteers and staff.”

Several charities in areas of health, mental health and community supports have had to cancel fundraising events over the past two months as a result of the pandemic. 

As a result, many fundraising campaigns have moved to online only platforms in a bid to ensure a flow of income is sustained during the public health emergency.  

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