REPORT: On the brink of closure: can small charities survive the cost of living crisis?

Small charities doing vital work to support local communities are facing untenable challenges because of the cost of living crisis. Because of increasing costs, workforce challenges and significant rises in demand from beneficiaries, almost half of those we surveyed are fighting for survival. Urgent government intervention is required to ensure they can keep supporting their communities. 

The Connection Coalition was formed by The Jo Cox Foundation in April 2020 as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, anticipating that the nation was at risk of a crisis of disconnection and a worsening epidemic of loneliness and isolation. Over 800 organisations have joined the Coalition and we support them as they work to build and maintain relationships and connections in their communities. 

As the pandemic rolls into a third winter and the impacts of the cost of living crisis start to be felt, the ongoing crisis of disconnection is only set to worsen. Across the UK, communities are supported by over 166,000 voluntary organisations, the majority of them small, with a turnover of less than £1 million. Many of these organisations stepped up in the face of the pandemic, providing vital services at the most difficult of times. It is essential to listen to, value and give practical support to these organisations who are keeping our communities safe and connected.

We conducted an online survey of Connection Coalition members for two weeks in September - October 2022. 23 members responded, giving us a snapshot of the experiences and concerns of small charities right now.

Su Moore, CEO of The Jo Cox Foundation, said:

"This report makes sobering but important reading. Members of the Connection Coalition are doing vital work on the ground to support their communities. With so many of these charities at risk it is clear that, without urgent government intervention, we will be facing a crisis of increased loneliness and disconnection as well as a cost of living crisis."

Read the report