One-third of charities under threat due to falling incomes

THE future of more than one-third of Irish charities and community groups is under threat due to falling income levels, a survey has found.

In addition, close to half the 128 charities who took part in the survey have had to either suspend or delay projects in the past six months due to financial challenges.

The survey, conducted by The Wheel, a national representative body for 900 community and voluntary organisations, also found that:

- Six in 10 have experienced a drop in income of up to 20%.

- 47% experienced a drop in donations over the last six months.

- Since last November, 62% have not recruited and almost one in 10 has made staff redundant.

- 12% say there is a risk that they may have to suspend their operations within the next year.

- Almost one quarter say they are unsure of their future.

CEO of The Wheel, Deirdre Garvey, said charities were dealing with the double whammy of a recession and increased demand on services.

“Many charities are struggling to survive in an economic climate where incomes have reduced but where more and more people are turning to them for help,” she said.

In an effort to bolster support, a new online campaign where charities can showcase their work has been launched.

“The Better Together campaign aims to turn the tide on this and strengthen the sector by showing the public the amazing work happening in their communities,” Ms Garvey said.

The campaign centres on the website www.bettertogether.ie where charities and clubs can submit videos to an online video competition. The public can vote for favourite videos or donating to the many causes taking part.

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