Charities in 2021
VCSEs reported that although funding helped match increased demand, it couldn’t always address the workforce shortages seen across the sector. The combination of the pandemic’s rapid onset with emergency funding forced organisations to plan, act and behave in a sort-term manner – at the detriment of their potential long-term development. Organisations that had the passion and opportunity to invest and grow under the influx of support during the pandemic were limited by a lack of skilled staff and volunteers, who had to prioritise frontline services over less urgent but still important planning and capacity building.
Although the pandemic now poses a less direct risk to the nation’s health, its impacts are still being felt across the VCSE sector. Organisations need to continue to be trusted to deliver their everyday frontline services, but also need the time and resources to develop. This means that being able to deliver core services along with being able to dedicate staff time to fundraising, planning and capacity building is absolutely essential going forwards. Along with acknowledging the benefit of multi-year funding for VCSEs, trusts and foundations will need to become more comfortable with trusting charities with unrestricted funding to meet core expenses, giving them greater flexibility to allocate funds as they see fit.