Results of NICVA's Funding Watch Survey

22 Mar 2017 Rachel Shannon    Last updated: 28 Mar 2017

NICVA recently ran a Funding Watch survey which assessed voluntary and community organisations current statutory funding situation and the likely impact of uncertainty and/or funding cuts. This article presents the survey findings.

NICVA recently ran a Funding Watch survey in order to develop an understanding of organisations current statutory funding situation and assess the likely impact of uncertainty and/or cuts in regards to statutory funding.

The survey was developed by the Public Affairs team at NICVA and was built onto an online survey platform. The survey was disseminated to NICVA members using direct emails, which targeted the head/lead of the member organisation, and the NICVA Member Bulletin. The link was also disseminated to non-members through NICVA’s Enews newsletter, social media platforms and website. The survey was open between 21 February and 3 March 2017 and achieved responses from 233 separate organisations.

Statutory Funding Status

Those organisations that responded to the survey and that were in receipt of statutory funding (85%/n=199) were asked a number of questions about the status of this funding and possible impacts of any funding cuts and/or funding uncertainty. Of those organisations that received statutory funding, 88% (n=175) stated that they had received cuts to their statutory funding and/or there was a risk of statutory funding cuts. Just over one-tenth of organisations (12%) stated that their organisation was at no risk of funding cuts and/ or they had experienced an increase in funding.

Respondents' statutory funding situationRespondents statutory funding situation (multiple choice)

Those organisations that stated their statutory funding had been cut (n=18), were asked to specify the extent of the cut. These findings are presented in the table below.

Extent of Funding Confirmed Cut % of respondents
1-10% 11
11-20% 17
21-50% 33
51-80% 28
81-100% 6
Don't know 6

 

Those organisations that expressed uncertainty towards the status of their statutory funding (n=158), were asked about the likelihood of potential cuts coming to fruition. Over half of respondents (59%) to this question stated that they felt it was either ‘very likely’ or ‘likely’ that the cuts would come through, while just 8% stated ‘unlikely’. 

Likelihood of organisations facing funding cuts

Statutory Funding Sources

Respondents were asked to identify their source/s of statutory funding. The three most popular sources identified were Non-Departmental Public Bodies, Councils and the Department for Communities. The full range of statutory funding sources identified by respondents is detailed in the graph below. Funding programmes/ streams that respondents received from Non-Departmental Public Bodies included the Arts Council Annual Funding Programme, Supporting People and Policing and Community Safety Partnerships. Council funding programmes/streams included Small Grants, Community Support and Community Development and Multi Annual Funding, while Department for Communities funding streams/programmes included Neighbourhood Renewal, Community Investment Fund, RISP and Supporting People. Just over one-sixth (15%) of those that reported that their statutory funding was at risk or had been cut, indicated that other funding they were due to receive (e.g. from European Social Fund, the Arts Council, Neighbourhood Renewal fund and Regional Development Fund) was dependent upon receiving this statutory funding.

Sources of statutory funding (multiple choice)

Impacts of Confirmed/ Potential Statutory Funding Cuts

Respondents that were at risk of funding cuts or that had received confirmation of funding cuts, were asked to estimate how many jobs were at risk in their organisation. 14% of organisations stated no jobs were at risk, while over half of respondents (52%) stated between 1-5 jobs were at risk. Just under one-tenth (9%) of respondents stated they were unsure. The results to this question are presented in the graph below. 

Estimated number of jobs at risk from confirmed or potential statutory funding cuts

Close to one-third (31%) of respondents stated that they had put staff on notice as a result of confirmed or potential statutory funding cuts. 

Results to question: Have you put staff on notice as a result of possible/ confirmed funding cuts

Respondents were also asked about the impacts of possible or confirmed statutory funding cuts. Notably, just over two-thirds of organisations (67%) stated that salary freezes were likely, while 57% stated that promotion freezes were likely. Just over half (51%) stated that reduced hours for staff were likely while 44% of respondents stated job losses were possible. 

Likelihood of impacts of potential/ confirmed statutory funding cuts

Respondents were also asked how potential/confirmed statutory funding cuts would be managed by their organisation. Unsurprisingly, over two-thirds (69%) of respondents stated that they would look elsewhere for funding while 68% stated that they would reduce the level of the funded service. Other ways in which the possible/confirmed funding cuts might be managed included reduced staff hours (45%), redundancies (43%) and pay frozen or cut (42%). 

How potential/ confirmed cuts will be managed (multiple choice)

Finally, respondents were asked to estimate how many service users might be impacted by potential/confirmed statutory funding cuts. Over one-third of respondents (39%) estimated that over 300 service users would be impacted. The full set of results to this question is presented in the graph below.

Estimated number of services users impacted by potential/ confirmed statutory funding cuts

 

Summary of Key Findings

  • 88% of respondents that receive statutory funding have received no confirmation of statutory funding for their services after March 2017 and believe this funding is at risk
  • 43% of these respondents said they would expect loss of this funding to result in redundancies
  • Nearly one third (31%) have already put staff on notice of potential redundancy
  • Nearly one in ten (9%) reported that funding cuts to their organisations for next financial year had already been confirmed
  • 15% of those who reported their statutory funding was at risk, indicated that other funding they were due to receive (e.g. from European Social Fund, the Arts Council, Neighbourhood Renewal fund and Regional Development Fund) was dependent upon receiving this statutory funding.

Further Information 

Please contact NICVA's Research Officer, Rachel Shannon, for further information about the Funding Watch Survey ([email protected]/ 02890 877777) or about NICVA's research programme in general.

If you would like to talk to somebody about any of the issues covered in this survey please contact Geoff Nuttall, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at NICVA ([email protected]/ 028 9087 7777)

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