The uneven impact of the pandemic on charities

In a piece of independent research, – ‘Trust in charities post-COVID’ – Yonder asked how charities have been impacted by the pandemic in the short term.

A survey of over 2,700 trustees found that COVID-19 has had an uneven impact on the charities sector, with smaller charities much more likely to have halted services. A quarter of charities with incomes of less than £10,000 say they were forced to cease all their services, compared to only 3% of charities with incomes of £500,000 or more.

In contrast, those largest charities were more likely to have moved their existing services online (63%) and to have helped directly with the pandemic (36%).

As fundraising events were curtailed, over a quarter of the largest charities (> £500,000) were able to find alternative sources of income, compared to only 5% of the smallest (<£10,000). Around half of the largest charities used furlough or emergency Government support, and 17% of them accessed the Government’s £750m fund set up specifically for the voluntary sector.

Smaller charities were less likely to have accessed either.

Researchers conclude that there is “no room for complacency”, with people from diverse walks of life sharing consistently high expectations of charities. The findings confirm that the key drivers of trust in charities have not changed during the pandemic, and that people expect charities to:

  1. Show that they make a positive difference
  2. Spend a high proportion of funds on the end cause, and
  3. Live their values, showing charity not just in what they do, but how they behave along the way

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For further information, please contact our Not for Profit Partner, Simon Brown, at