NCVO report: The Road Ahead 2020

The number of people giving has declined since 2016 from 69% to 57% in 2018, which means charities should reflect on these trends when developing fundraising strategies.

This is according to a January 2020 report from the NCVO on the future of the voluntary sector.

The report also finds that:

  • In terms of political drivers, Brexit will continue to have social and political impact long after the 31st January 2020. For instance, the government has already removed clauses from the updated withdrawal agreement bill, inserted in the previous parliament in an attempt to secure the bill’s passage, which would require detailed parliamentary scrutiny of future negotiations.
  • Other previously agreed concessions that have now been ditched include explicit commitments not to weaken existing employment rights and environmental standards.
  • It is therefore incredibly important for charities to be engaged and aware of these changes.
  • Economic drivers including poor labour productivity will impact the value of wages and living standards.
  • Key social drivers include a changing geography of ageing which has seen rural and coastal areas ageing more quickly, while cities like Nottingham and Newcastle are getting younger. Understanding the age profile of different areas and how these could evolve in the future is crucial to meeting local needs – particularly social care needs.
  • Though people’s views on Brexit have become more polarised, evidence suggests many attitudes and identities in the UK are converging rather than diverging, for example views on gender equality and same-sex relationships. There is also a great deal of agreement on policy priorities such as the environment, health and social care, and poverty. This should mean a focus on shared values and purpose for charities, and a need to think about diversity and inclusion within their own organisations to make sure they are representative of the communities they support.
  • Two prominent technological drivers for the sector are the importance of a digital strategy and the need for up-to-date IT infrastructure. A digital strategy is important now more than ever for charities, as digital is changing the needs, behaviours and expectations of their users and supporters. Many charities are still working with outdated tools and systems that don’t support these developments, with money highlighted as the main barrier.

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