What a No-Deal Brexit Means for the Charity Sector

We’re a little fed up of the deal or no-deal Brexit scenarios being discussed ad nauseam in the press. With 31 October looming and no resolution in sight what should charities do to prepare for a no-deal?

An important Brexit consideration for many charities is their staff. Employment laws will be affected but there’s unlikely to be an overnight change in employment rights in the event of no deal. Take steps to familiarise yourselves with Home Office Guidance to allow you to support and advise your EU employees.

In times of economic difficulty, need increases, and the work of voluntary organisations becomes more important. Currently a no-deal Brexit UK economy is predicted to go into recession which will affect charity funding available at local and national level and lead to a rise in demand on charitable services, especially for those working in poorer communities. The press is predicting food and medicine shortages due to customs-check chaos and a fall in Sterling by 10%, which would increase the cost of imported goods and services. It would also further reduce the purchasing power of charities operating abroad. Charity boards should be reviewing risk, existing financial position and funding streams in advance of the departure date.

A recent report states that a third of charities are over-reliant on one source of funding and those charities said losing their major source of funding would lead to the charity’s demise. Brexit aside, voluntary organisations must remain financially robust to cope with the needs of beneficiaries and their communities. Considerations of current and future funding sources should already be part of your fundraising strategy but a no-deal Brexit will mean further diversification and new ideas to compensate for a shortfall. It takes at least 6 months for most grant applications to be fruitful and your fundraising should take advantage of all your physical, human and digital assets – it should be creative and imaginative  – check out different ideas on the internet and try adapting other charities fundraising successes to what your organisation could achieve.

Being aware, discussing and planning for Brexit related issues at trustee and board level is a good way to avoid unwelcome surprises – download and read the full guidance from NCVO or watch the webinar on what a no-deal means to the UK charity sector.

If you need help writing or updating your fundraising strategy please contact suzie@voluntarysupport.org.uk

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