Managing in a Downturn Report Reflections….

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April 11, 2014 at 15:08

Yesterday saw the launch of the seventh ‘Managing in Downturn’ report – a survey series that we have run in partnership with the Institute of Fundraising and PwC since the start of the economic downturn in 2008. The launch event itself was a lively affair with reflections of the findings from: Andrew Sentance, PwC’s Chief Economist; Mark Astarita, the IoF Chair; and our own Jane Tully. Highlights included Andrew Sentance’s weather map of the global economic outlook for 2014 (sunny intervals for the UK!) and Mark Astarita’s optimism that the baby boomer generation’s large capital assets will have significant implications […]

‘Professionalism’ is not a dirty word

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January 28, 2014 at 18:34

2014. I can’t quite believe that this is my fourth year working within the sector, but I’ve been sensing that the pressure on us as a ‘sector’ has intensified… Pensions. Pay. Investments. The way we do ‘business’. When I came to CFG in 2010, the biggest challenge taxing charity FDs was the uncertain economic climate. Now, broadly speaking, I believe that we’ve got to grips with this ‘new norm’. That’s not to say that all is rosy in the garden on the funding front, but rather that much of the contraction in our sources of income, biting so deeply after […]

2014, politics, and charities

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January 10, 2014 at 15:15

I am trying to ascertain whether my current outlook for the year ahead is one of optimism or pessimism.  On the one hand there are huge challenges ahead, both for society and for the charity sector.  On the other, the economy is slowly recovering, unemployment continues to decrease and there is a World Cup, and that’s always fun.  I have come to the conclusion that I am somewhere in between the two. In 2014 there are some big issues that are going to carry on being thumped back and forth in a metaphorical political game (a bit like tennis, only […]

Little good news for charities in 2013 Spending Review

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June 27, 2013 at 09:11

There was little cause for optimism for the charity sector in the Government’s 2013 Spending Review, with a few niche giveaways overshadowed by more details on planned welfare reforms and further cuts to local government. What’s it all about? The 2013 Spending Review divided up a pre-determined amount of spending between departments for the 2015/16 financial year, aiming to make total savings of £11.5bn on 2014/15. It also outlined future changes to ‘annually managed expenditure’, which is made up largely of welfare and debt interest payments and accounts for just over half of total government expenditure. This round of cuts […]

Delayed reaction: what difference do Budget measures make to charities?

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April 3, 2013 at 11:27

As we toured the country last week, meeting over 200 charities to discuss Budget 2013, we were met by experts and charities that were, on the whole, underwhelmed by the contents of the red box. Top-line concerns stemmed from the macro-economic outlook, with the overarching narrative continuing to be one of austerity and restrained growth.  Fiscal neutrality, government cuts, erosion of real wages, low interest rates, variable inflation, and a shift to unconventional monetary policy tools – unfamiliar concepts five years ago – are now increasingly embedded as part of the ‘new normal’ as the country pushes forward with Plan […]

Autumnal colour or a wintery chill?

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December 5, 2012 at 19:25

This year’s Autumn Statement – the Government’s opportunity to set out its stall for the months ahead and to respond to the latest growth forecasts – does little to reinforce our confidence in the economy and outlook for charities and those they support who are vulnerable. In an otherwise stormy sea, the only beacons of light for charities themselves were the headline grabbing cancellation in planned fuel duty rises, the reference to a forthcoming consultation on extending Gift Aid to cover digital platforms, and the additional spend on the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme over the next 5 years (as a […]