It is fundamental that charities ensure both their resources and volunteering opportunities remain accessible to all
We recently launched BrandVue’s Most Loved Charity Brands 2023 – a report based on the opinions of more than 60,000 UK consumers on 120+ charities.
Each year the report shines a light on the charities that are capturing the hearts of UK supporters. We take a closer look at three trends expected to emerge in the third sector this year.
In the face of the cost-of-living crisis and a series of international disasters, charities are facing rising pressures to establish financial resilience and secure more diverse streams of income.
1 Building resilience: navigating financial pressures and stakeholder relationships
The rising cost of living has led to reduced household finances – as a result, charities have seen a significant drop in donations from supporters.
With increased expenses and a reduction of government support for their energy costs, many charities are being forced to explore alternative funding sources to sustain their operations and continue supporting their communities.
To ensure financial sustainability, an increasing number of charities are adopting online fundraising. Furthermore, many are diversifying their income streams by developing partnerships with businesses, trusts, and individual philanthropists.
In addition to financial pressures, charities are also facing challenges in maintaining stakeholder relationships amidst political churn and preparing for potential changes in party leadership as the next general election approaches. As such, charities must develop strategies to adapt to these changes.
By working with stakeholders and policymakers – for example, advocating for policy change that affects their mission and values – charities can play a key role in shaping the political environment and create a supportive and more sustainable ecosystem for them to continue their important work.
2 Adapting to growing demand and embracing digital channels
The demand for charities’ services has increased significantly over the past year, and this trend is expected to continue.
Meeting this demand has become a significant challenge for the voluntary sector as many households rely on charities to fill gaps left by public service provision. To add to this, the current economic climate has created a competitive fundraising environment for charities, leading them to develop their digital capacity and introduce new, more cost-efficient methods of giving. Digital fundraising is a priority, particularly to reach younger audiences, but smaller charities face challenges in investing in tech solutions and ensuring cyber-resilience.
Charities are also adapting the ways in which they reach and serve beneficiaries, employing digital or hybrid delivery models to do so.
While we’re seeing an increase in the utilisation of digital channels across the sector, it is fundamental that charities ensure both their resources and volunteering opportunities remain accessible to all.
3 Prioritising diversity and inclusion
We can expect to see charities taking steps to become more diverse and inclusive in their recruitment of staff as well as when engaging with supporters and beneficiaries.
Currently, there is an imbalance across the charities sector with a higher proportion of male employees and an older age profile, as well as a lack of representation from ethnic minority groups in comparison to the private sector.
As a result, many charities should be prioritising the recruitment of a more diverse and representative workforce, particularly at decision-making levels. Attracting and retaining a diverse pool of talent will provide any organisation with a broader panel of opinion and creativity – and will undoubtedly assist them in better serving the communities they support.
For more insights on the third sector, as well as a full list of the Top 100 most loved charities, download the free report here.