Tethered fortunes: The threat to charities from trouble in local government report published

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Local authority cuts are having a knock on effect on charities who work with them.

Pro Bono Economics have published the latest results from the quarterly Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Sector Barometer, which focuses on the state of the current relationship between charities and local government. Read our analysis in full here: ‘Tethered fortunes: The threat to charities from trouble in local government’.

"The results reveal that the financial distress gripping local councils across England has hidden consequences for charities and the people who rely on them. Nine in 10 charities that work with local councils described the relationship as ‘important’ to them, and four in 10 went so far as to state the relationship as 'critical'. This latest instalment of the Barometer, conducted in partnership with Nottingham Trent University, shows the depth of the entanglement between charities and councils, highlighting the risk that creates for charities as councils struggle to stabilise their budgets.

Historic reductions in local government funding have already taken a toll on charity incomes, and now over half of charities that work with councils believe that the ongoing turmoil in councils poses a moderate or high risk to them. Even charities that receive no funding from local government reported serious concerns about demand for charity services increasing as council services are reduced or withdrawn, putting ever more pressure on already stretched services.

It is therefore important that policymakers, funders and firms recognise both the challenges for charities in the face of this local government instability and the benefits of stepping in to provide funding and partnership for this crucial part of the country’s civil society."

Jansev Jemal, Director of Research and Policy, Pro Bono Economics


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