Cranfield Trust, the leading provider of pro bono management consultancy and mentoring to social welfare charities has released a new report ‘Demand, Change, Survival’. The report outlines the challenges facing charity leaders in Scotland, which mirrors what the Trust is hearing from charity leaders across the UK. 

In the survey conducted during December 2022, Cranfield Trust heard directly from over 70 charity leaders in Scotland about the impact the cost of living crisis is having on them, their charities and their beneficiaries. The survey insights reinforce what other organisations across the sector have reported but highlight the stark position of many frontline charities, which includes:

  • existing challenges of running and managing organisations in the voluntary sector being amplified - from overstretched staff to capacity and capability issues in charities’ governance and leadership
  • an increasingly competitive context for fundraising as well as funding processes placing additional pressure on stretched charities, and the negative impact of this on innovation and strategic planning
  • the need for more effective collaboration between the charity sector, local and national government and the commercial sectors.

We heard that while charity leaders are determined to keep going, they are fearful for their future and that of their beneficiaries. They are finding the increased demands on their services and burdensome funding and commissioning requirements overwhelming, and are asking funders and commissioners to reconsider their funding models. 

When asked what funders and Government could do to help, Cranfield were told:

We need multi-year funding of 3-5 years so that we can properly plan and develop our service. Funding is mostly from short term grants which creates great deal of administrative pressure during already very busy times.”

Change funding assessment mechanisms, make them more human and person-centred. Small charities struggle to carve out funding for Funding Officer functions, which often become part of the CEO role

Free support available

Cranfield have a range of free, practical resources and guidance to support with cost of living critical issues. They can help and support you with pro bono management consultancy in the longer term.

Please get in touch to find out about the many other ways in which they can provide support or sign up to alerts to be kept up to date on latest free webinars and new resources.


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