Donations drop and high demand threaten charities, survey finds

Inevitable charities will close if funds do not increase , says The Wheel chief

Many charities are being forced to suspend services or bring in cut-backs due to financial difficulties, according to a new survey.

A third of all responding charities to the survey conducted by charity The Wheel last month,said they had to cut back on services in the first six months of the year.

Over the same time period, nearly 67 per cent of charities said they are facing increasing demand for their services, while 64 per cent have experienced a drop in their income. The Wheel represents 900 charities, with 230 of them taking part in the survey.

Children’s charity Barnardos has been severely affected by financial problems in recent months and was forced to recently halt operations for a week and may have to do it again in the near future.


Other charities, such as the Irish Cancer Society and the Irish Heart Foundation have reported a significant drop in public donations, while some charities, including the ISPCC, have had to make staff redundant since the beginning of the year.

If these problems continue, it is inevitable that some charities will be forced to close down, according to The Wheel's chief executive Deirdre Garvey.

“The bigger [charities] will survive, but they’re hurting and some of their services will drop. This negative endless spiral is getting us nowhere,” she said.

“Charities have cut any way that they can. They’re like a business in that sense. We are leading by example and creating new and innovative ways of thinking and fundraising.”

Ms Garvey said that charities are a safety net and if they are forced to close, it will be the vulnerable in society that are hit the hardest.

“Charities play an indispensable role in plugging the gaps in Ireland’s welfare system by providing essential public services like housing, support and care for people with disabilities and protection for the vulnerable and socially excluded.

“These disproportionate cuts, coupled with a fall in donations, have led to a situation where vital supports have to be withdrawn at a time when they are most needed. And, as a consequence, those who had no hand in the making of this crises are suffering most. We need to ask ourselves: What does this say about us, as a society?,” she said.