Charities in Jersey are demonstrating resilience but face some real challenges in a landscape that continues to be shaped by inflation and the fallout of Covid-19, according to a survey undertaken by the Association of Jersey Charities (AJC).
The AJC’s ‘Satisfaction Survey’ was conducted amongst its members earlier this year and aims to provide an insight into both their sentiment towards the AJC as an organisation and charities’ attitudes towards their wider operating environment.
In terms of perceptions of the AJC, their members were overwhelmingly positive about the role of the AJC, rating its grant giving support, representation of the sector, news service and advice and guidance as ‘Excellent’, whilst their training support was perceived as ‘Good’.
Meanwhile, some of the key challenges identified by charities included:
- Funding: long-term income and financial sustainability, with more charities competing for less money, reduced balance sheets after the pandemic, and a fear that people can afford to donate less because of the cost of living
- Expectations: charities expected to step in more where the Government is not delivering certain services and an underappreciation of the value of services delivered by charities
- Skills: the costs and difficulties in recruiting the right people
- Digital Advancements: charities not being geared up sufficiently to benefit from digital tools
- Regulation: being able to keep up with the requirements of evolving regulations and onerous bureaucracy
In terms of opportunities, however, charities identified collaboration and the pooling of resources as an area of potential that could reduce the strain on the community where funds and resources are concerned and address the threat of disengaging supporters.
Liz Le Poidevin (pictured), Deputy Chair of the AJC, said: “This is an important survey for us, it not only holds us to account, but it also provides a fascinating insight into the sector we serve and which remains so important to the island community.
“Overall, Jersey’s charity sector has remained resilient over the past year, but our members have certainly provided some thought-provoking insights into the challenges they are facing, which are largely driven by the fallout of Covid-19 and an inflation-driven economic environment. There’s no doubt – money will be tight this year. Fundraising has been hit hard and the economic environment suggests it will continue to be a challenge.
“What is positive is that charities are looking for solutions – they are conscious of the need for greater collaboration, for upskilling and for finding innovative solutions to new problems. It’s encouraging that the feedback on our own role in the sector is valued by our members, but we cannot be complacent.
“Our focus is on continuing to support charities at a challenging time, by nurturing cooperation, supporting their drive to upskill and championing innovation – such as the recent changes to Regular and Payroll Giving in Jersey.”