21 November 2014
45% of charities now consider their property poses the greatest risk to their long term survival - up 4% on 2012 figures.
One third of charities have not paid for any property advice in the last three years.
A further 40% rely on informal advice from friends and contacts.
Today the Ethical Property Foundation publishes the 2014 Charity Property Matters Survey in partnership with the Charity Commission.
The survey is the only research in the UK which covers property issues facing the voluntary sector. It further reveals:
• Over 40% experience difficulty in obtaining core funding to cover premises costs.
• Over a quarter cannot borrow to purchase a building.
• 57% are either planning or would consider sharing space to reduce costs.
• 80% do not consider their voice is heard by local authorities in local strategic planning.
“This survey paints a stark picture of a worried and hard pressed third sector squeezed between fear and ignorance, balancing austerity conditions against growing demand for their services.” says Foundation Director Antonia Swinson. “It reveals the impact of property management on a charity’s work and on their bottom line. Property is the largest budget line but as the survey shows, also poses the biggest threat to long term survival. Relying on friends and colleagues for property advice is a risky business not least for the beneficiaries charities serve.”
“There’s a job to do to raise awareness about the support available, but there are also opportunities for the commercial property industry, charity grant funders and trustees to get involved.”
Speaking at the survey launch last night at the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, before a capacity audience of senior charity and property professionals, Charity Commissioner Paula Sussex said, “I am delighted that for the second time, the Charity Commission has worked in partnership with the Ethical Property Foundation on this Survey. Property queries are one of the most common type of inquiries we receive from charities, and organisations like the Ethical Property Foundation are vital in providing guidance and support to them. Property, whilst a great asset, also comes with risks, and charities must be sure to include such considerations in their planning and decision-making.”
The survey can be downloaded here