Overview

  • The Covid-19 crisis is radically reshaping the work of small charities
  • Around half of small charities have had to adapt or reduce the way their services are delivered, with many unfunded charities being unable to continue delivering services
  • Around half of small charities are providing new services in response to Covid-19
  • Overall, small charities experienced a variation in changes to their total income in 2020, compared to 2019, reflecting the financial precarity of the sector
  • 16% of small charities expect to be able to access emergency Covid-19 funding from the National Lottery Community Fund
  • 80% of emergency grants from general funders have gone to small charities, representing 57% by total value
  • Over half of small charities predict they will not meet their payroll costs within six months, and around one-third intend to furlough staff

How are small charities adapting their services?

  • 30% of small charities have been able to continue to deliver services fully during the Covid-19 crisis, with a further 49% delivering services in part.
  • Small charities are less likely to have been able to continue to provide services, with unfunded charities the least able to continue provision in the same way.
  • Just over half (52%) of small charities are providing different services specifically in response to Covid-19.

How has COVID-19 impacted on charities’ income?

  • Overall, small charities experienced a variation in changes to their total income in 2020 compared to 2019, reflecting the financial precarity of the sector.
  • Around a third (30%) of charities with a pre-covid income of under £100k experienced a loss of more than half of their income in 2020, compared to 2019.
  • Charities with an income of 500k- £1m experienced the least extreme losses to their total income.

How have grantmakers supported small charities during Covid-19?

  • Grants worth £166m to frontline charities have been shared in 360Giving’s Covid-19 Tracker.
  • 81% of grants went to small charities, worth 57% of the total value of Covid-19 emergency grants.
  • 19% of grants went to large charities, worth 43% of the total value of Covid-19 emergency grants.

How are small charities responding to Covid-19 as employers?

  • 52% of small charities say that they can only meet their payroll costs for the next 1-3 months, with nearly 1 in 10 (9%) not being able to meet their present payroll costs.
  • Around one-third (34%) of small charities intend to furlough staff, compared to 41% who did not. 
insights

Equalities

Explore data on board-level representation of service users and other equalities areas

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insights

Demand for services

Explore data on how small charities perceive demand for their services and how this has changed

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Further reading

The Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, Durham University 2020 Third Sector Trends Covid-19 Impact Survey 

Nottingham Trent University, NCVO and Sheffield Hallam University 2020 Respond, recover, reset: the voluntary sector and COVID-19 

Nottingham Trent University, NCVO and Sheffield Hallam University 2020 COVID-19 Voluntary Sector Impact Barometer

New Philanthropy Capital 2020 Interactive data dashboard: Covid-19 local needs tracker

Lloyds Bank Foundation for England & Wales 2020 Charities Responding to COVID-19: Winter Update

Clinks 2020 The impact of Covid-19 on the voluntary sector in criminal justice

Useful resources

NCVO Information on Coronavirus

Small Charities Coalition COVID Information and support

Locality COVID-19: information, support and funding 

Civil Society What funding is available to charities during Covid-19 pandemic

The National Lottery Community Fund Funding during COVID-19 

The National Emergencies Trust Coronavirus Appeal 

Charities Aid Foundation COVID-19 funding, resources, research and insight 

Directory of Social Change Coronavirus funding updates