Almost one in five larger UK charities and over a quarter of smaller ones are struggling to survive as a result of a rapid growth in demand and a tough financial climate. Earlier this year, a survey of UK charity chief executives was published by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF). The results of this revealed that 18% of all charities in the UK fear for the future of their organisation. This number was even higher at 28% when looking at charities with an annual income of less than £1m.

John Low, the chief executive of CAF, expressed that charities are facing ever-growing pressure on resources which are already being stretched. They are less confident than they were a year ago that theyll be able to meet this demand,, he said. In some cases they are being stretched to breaking point.

This research also showed that over a third of charities had no choice but to dip into their reserves last year in order to cover a deficit in income, with 34% of charity leaders who took part in the survey stating that a reduction in public and government funding was the biggest challenge they faced. Over half (57%) of participants feel that achieving financial sustainability is their greatest obstacle.

Charities feel less confident about their ability to meet such challenges than they did last year, with over a quarter (26%) of charity executives in the survey saying they had little or no confidence that their organisation would be able to do so.

However, charities arent just sitting back and letting the problem overwhelm them. Instead, they are making changes to try and cope with these issues, through restructuring, cuts and reducing services. Three in five charities (61%) state that they have either restructured in the past 12 months or are planning on doing so in the next 12 months. In addition, most also plan to boost their social media presence, invest in new digital and online systems and introduce novel methods of giving.

The chief executive of Acevo (Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations), Vicky Browning, said that the invaluable contribution made both locally and nationally by charities doesnt always receive the recognition and appreciation it deserves from the public and government. She stressed that the report provides evidence that charities are facing a perfect storm of rising demand and decreasing funds at a time where economic conditions are challenging and public trust is extremely volatile.

The phrase every penny counts is perhaps more important than ever, considering the pressure being placed on charities in the current climate. Its therefore critical that charities choose the most appropriate online fundraising platforms to register with, ensuring that they can claim 100% of every donation they receive.

Click here to view the CAF survey.