15 per cent of charities are 'struggling to survive'

78 per cent said pressure on their services grew last year

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The Independent Online

Nearly one sixth of charities admit they are facing a battle to survive because of a struggle to raise money and to cope with increasing pressure on their services.

They have also raised the alarm that the continuing squeeze on government spending threatens their financial viability.

The bleak picture emerges today in research released today by the Charities Aid Foundation and the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations.

They found that 15 per cent of charity chief executives say their organisation is "struggling to survive", growing to 21 per cent among smaller charities with an income under £1 million.

A third of charities dipped into their reserves last year to cover an income shortfall, according to the survey of 572 voluntary sector chief executives.

At the same time 78 per cent said pressure on their services grew last year and 83 per cent anticipate a further increase in the next 12 months.

John Low, the CAF’s chief executive, said: “Charities are resilient and do adapt to a changing world. It’s clear many remain optimistic and are taking steps to overcome these problems, but it is very worrying if a significant proportion of charities, especially smaller organisations, feel they are reaching breaking point.