How Covid-19 is Impacting Sector Organisations

Further analysis of the responses to the recent NICVA Covid-19 survey has revealed more details on how the current crisis is affecting sector organisations

We recently reported the topline results of a NICVA survey into the impacts of the Covid-19 crisis on voluntary and community organisations and those they support, which revealed stark findings about the scale of these impacts, including that –

  • Over 4 in 5 organisations (80.2%) had already had to stop services and activities
  • Over one third (33.7%) of organisations had already lost funding/income
  • Nearly one in four (23.6%) organisations said their survival was threatened  

Further analysis of the individual comments and feedback given by survey respondents has revealed more detail on these impacts, providing NICVA with vital information to help us represent and respond to your concerns.  We are highlighting these concerns in our engagement with government and working to ensure your support needs are met.

Impacts on staff, services, income and working practices

The survey reveals that the crisis is impacting on staff and volunteers in multiple ways including staff being put on redundancy notices; staff off sick with the virus, loss of sessional staff (e.g. staff delivering counselling sessions), concerns around the loss of volunteers, and impacts on staff from loss of social contact.

The services delivered by organisations are also being impacted in multiple ways with organisations having to limit or modify their services, while demand for these services and for additional services and support has increased.  Services which normally involve direct contact are being delivered remotely.  Increased use of food banks was reported, whilst community based mental health services were reported to be under threat with potential threat to life.  The survival of some organisations is under threat (reported by nearly one in four organisations responding to the survey).

Respondents to the survey also reported loss of income and the depletion of their reserves, as well as having to wait for the outcome of funding applications for 2020/21.  Concerns were expressed about allocated budgets not being able to be spent, and that mixed messages were coming from Central Government regarding staff pay.

Whilst some reported that remote working was making them work more creatively with staff and volunteers, others highlighted that home working was placing a strain on their IT resources and making communication and management of staff difficult.

The NICVA Covid-19 survey also gathered information on -  

  • the actions that organisations have already had to undertake or are planning to, to respond to the crisis
  • the key specific support needs of voluntary and community organisations in the current crisis


The results of our analysis of these will follow shortly.

Share your COVID-19 support service

Organisations providing support to people and communities can share their service information here

> Share your support

Find more coronavirus information from NICVA

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