Leading article: Caught in the whirlwind

Share
Related Topics

The success of this year's record-breaking Comic Relief appeal is all the more remarkable given the current economic gloom. More than £57m has been raised, and as donations from communities' fundraising efforts are gathered and counted this total will undoubtedly continue to rise. In the charitable sector more generally 2009 may also be remembered as a record-breaking year but for all the wrong reasons.

Today the Charity Commission publishes an economic survey of more than 1,000 organisations who, in the main, report that they have been presented with a double blow by the downturn, experiencing not just an increased demand for services but falling revenues. This is no surprise – any organisation which has invested in equities is likely to have been hit by the 40 per cent drop in share prices – but the effect is further compounded by the fact that the financial sector itself accounts for about one third of UK charities' income from corporate donors. Some accountants estimate that UK charities will suffer an income fall of about £2.3bn this year.

Some of the largest organisations, with annual incomes in excess of £1m, report that they are already limiting their programmes as a result. Meanwhile, three-quarters of the smallest charities admit that they have undertaken no preparation for the recession at all.

Unfortunately, for those who rely on them, it does not necessarily follow that those people who are best qualified to work with the most vulnerable members of our society are also a dab-hand at designing long-term investment strategies, but in the case of smaller charities they must often do both. There is a case for offering such institutions professional financial services. Not only that, but we must share the same generous spirit that helped Comic Relief this weekend with those smaller groups that do not enjoy celebrity backing and a significant public profile.

Dame Suzi Leather, the chair of the Commission has warned that "some charities have drawn on reserves. Now is the rainy day they have been saving for". Of course, not all have made such provision. So we should do our best, by our kindness and through service in our communities, to offer an umbrella.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sustainability Manager

Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Scheme Manager (BREEAM)...

Graduate Sustainability Professional

Flexible, depending on experience: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: T...

Programme Director - Conduct Risk - London

£850 - £950 per day: Orgtel: Programme Director - Conduct Risk - Banking - £85...

Project Coordinator/Order Entry, SC Clear

£100 - £110 per day: Orgtel: Project Coordinator/Order Entry Hampshire

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

The daily catch-up: knitting, why Ed wants to be PM and a colloquium of Indy-pedants

John Rentoul
Former N-Dubz singer Tulisa Contostavlos gives a statement outside Southwark Crown Court after her trial  

It would be wrong to compare brave Tulisa’s ordeal with phone hacking. It’s much worse than that

Matthew Norman
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn