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According to a new study, over half of charity leaders believe that leaving the EU will have a negative impact on their funding opportunities, with a large number of UK charities and not-for-profit organisations having received substantial EU funding over the last few years.

The government could, in theory, continue to support the sector by matching all EU funding when the UK does leave. However, it is unlikely to do so given the current levels of uncertainty over public finances.

A recent report canvassing charity chief executives and their thoughts on Brexit yielded some interesting results.

The results for demand of charitable services were as follows:

  • 63% of respondents feel leaving the EU would have zero effect on demand for services
  • 21% of respondents expect a negative impact on demand for services
  • Only 10% expected a positive impact for services
  • The remaining 6% were unsure

The results for community cohesion were as follows:

  • 54% of respondents felt leaving the EU would have zero effect on community cohesion
  • While 36% felt it would have a negative impact
  • And only 4% believe there will be a positive impact

An interesting statistic that did come out of the findings was that within three years, 52% of charities believe they will be partnering with other charities to a far greater extent.

Almost three quarters of respondents believe that within the next three years they will be undertaking a wider range of activities, while just 4% expect to be conducting fewer activities within the next three years.

Respondents identified funding and public perception as the two leading factors in increasing the sector’s impact in society, followed by:

  • Internal improvements
  • Better relations within the public sector
  • Sector co-operation
  • Engaging users, stakeholders and volunteers

Simon Bladen, charity Partner here at Hawsons, had this to say about the findings: “I can appreciate that some charities are concerned about the impact of Brexit on their organisation, however at the moment there is far too much uncertainty to truly know one way or the other. However, I am keen to see what support the Government ends up offering to the sector as a whole in the wake of Brexit.”

Simon Bladen is the partner responsible for looking after the firm’s charity clients and has worked at Hawsons throughout his career. For more information or advice on anything covered in this article, please contact Simon on [email protected] or 0114 226 7141.

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