Financial resilience and vulnerability: assessing charity financial reserves on the eve of the Covid-19 pandemic

About this Event

Presenters: David Clifford (University of Southampton) and John Mohan (Third Sector Research Centre, University of Birmingham)

With practitioner / sector responses from Richard Hebditch (Association of Charitable Foundations) and Brian Carr, CEO of Birmingham Voluntary Services Council. Chair: Sarah Vibert (Director of public policy and volunteering, NCVO)

What’s the event?

We present new analysis from the Third Sector Research Centre about the financial reserves held by larger (over £500,000) English and Welsh charitable organisations (about 10 000 organisations in total) on the eve of the pandemic. This is the largest and most robust analysis of its kind to date. Unlike survey-based research based on perceptions, it uses reported financial data. We compare reserves to expenditure and show that a significant proportion of charities have relatively low levels of reserves. We also demonstrate that organisations with low levels of reserves are found across the charitable sector – but there are also variations by charitable size, major income stream, age of the organisation, field of charitable activity.

Who should attend?

The presentation will be of interest to audiences including funders of voluntary action, infrastructure bodies who are advocating for the voluntary sector in their localities, stakeholders from outside the sector such as central and local government, and thinktanks and the relevant sector media.

What will they get out of it?

The event will appeal to those wanting to know more about patterns of funding, resources and reserves across the voluntary sector. This work provides insights into variations between organizations which dig deeper into patterns of vulnerability and contribute to a better understanding of organizational resilience.

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