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AJC members survey lays bare unsustainable pressures on local charity sector
Published this week, the AJC’s Survey, based on the responses from almost 60 local charities, found that it costs more today for the majority of Jersey charities (89%) to operate and deliver services than at the same point last year.
More than half (57%) of those charities responding said they had seen a drop in fundraising income over the past 12 months, while at the same more than half (55%) also said they had seen an increase in demand for their services this year.
Around a third (32%) said they had had to increase services to meet demand this year, but almost the same proportion (33%) have had to scale back activities. Further key findings from the survey include:
- more charities (42%) are expecting to scale back their activities in the next year, as they anticipate the cost of delivering services to continue to increase (89%), and the funds they can raise to drop (79%)
- two-thirds (66%) of charities have already had to use their reserves to meet increased costs or expect to do so in the next year
- the majority (61%) of charities believe that the Government’s response to the cost-of-living increase and its impact on the charitable sector has been either poor or very poor
Commenting on the results, Beth Gallichan, CEO of the AJC, said:
“The findings from our latest survey of our Members confirm the very real challenges our local charity sector is facing. Driven by the cost-of-living crisis, they are experiencing the triple whammy of a rise in demand for their services, a decline in fundraising income with people finding it hard to donate, and an increase in their own operational costs.
“The result is an unsustainable position, and we are already seeing charities making difficult decisions about reducing services. For an island where charities play such a critical role, that would be devastating for our local communities who rely so much on them.
“Many islanders depend on local charities, but the truth is charities also depend on islanders' generosity. Maybe not today but at some point, you, your loved one, neighbours, our culture and wildlife have been helped or will need help. Charities are not only here to support our community in a crisis but also to find solutions to some of our long-term challenges. We have endured a series of community tragedies and anticipate that as inequality and poverty continue to affect more people, those that rely on charities will multiply.
“We must put our trust in charities, powered by dedicated staff, volunteers, funders and donors, all their activities are for public benefit. The more we invest today the better long-term outcome for everyone's health and wellbeing. If you can help, volunteer, donate £10 a month or have the power to give more, please reach out to a charity that you value. Unless we take action soon we risk our charity sector looking very different in just a few years from now.”