New report shows fundraising charities are optimistic about their longer-term future in the face of economic uncertainty

New report shows fundraising charities are optimistic about their longer-term future in the face of economic uncertainty

7 May 2019

New research published today shows that charities across the UK are investing in fundraising and focusing on improving their supporter experience in the face of economic uncertainty.

A new report from the Institute of Fundraising and PwC, ‘Fundraising for Impact’, released today looks at the current priorities and decisions that charities are taking around their fundraising activities. The research, based on a survey of over 100 fundraising charities of different sizes, explores fundraising income and costs, how charities are investing in fundraising, key fundraising challenges and their views about fundraising in the future.

The report shows that charities are concerned about future economic uncertainty and the disposable income of donors, and continue to experience a rising demand for services. Despite the pressure on charities, including increased costs in compliance, workforce and fundraising activity, it is clear that they are adapting and proactively taking control through innovation and new approaches to put in place strong foundations for future success.

Key findings from the research include:

  • Charities are predicting a growth in income for future years. The majority of respondents predicted growth of at least 10% in most areas of voluntary income over the next three years.
  • Improving the experience of current supporters is the number one current area of focus for charities (63%); while the most commonly reported area of focus for the future is to find new supporters (74%). 
  • Charities have experienced rising costs over recent years – 86% of respondents reported a significant increase in costs of compliance, alongside increases in workforce, fundraising activity, and systems and technology.
  • Three quarters of respondents (73%) said their charity’s investment in generating voluntary income was a priority, with digital engagement being the most likely area of predicted increased donations over the next three years. 


Peter Lewis, Chief Executive, Institute of Fundraising, said:

“Fundraisers know that the success of fundraising goes beyond the pound that is donated – it is about the relationships that are created between the cause, the charity and supporters that will deliver long-term success. While increased costs and economic uncertainty lead to a challenging environment, I’m pleased to see that more charities are putting in place strong foundations and building blocks that will deliver for their causes into the future.”


Aidan Sutton, Partner and Head of Charities, PwC, said:

“I’m heartened by the sense of positivity and optimism from those who responded to our survey. Improving the experience of existing supporters and attracting new ones are, quite rightly, seen as key priorities – and building deep, authentic relationships will be at the heart of this. Focusing on creating a great supporter experience means a shift in mindset away from a traditional measure of financial return on investment and towards a return on experience.”

The full report is available at


For further information, please contact Daniel Fluskey, Head of Policy and External Affairs via or on 0207 840 5493.

About the Institute of Fundraising

The Institute of Fundraising is the professional membership body for UK fundraising. We support fundraisers through leadership and representation; best practice and compliance; education and networking; and we champion and promote fundraising as a career choice. We have over 6,000 individual members and over 600 organisational members who raise more than £10 billion in income for good causes every year.

About PwC

With high levels of change and uncertainty in our economy and society, the role of charities is more important, and more challenging, than ever. Our purpose is to build public trust in society and solve important problems – and charities are at the heart of both. We work closely with charities to help them gain insight and make choices about how they best navigate through these uncertain times.