10/08/2009 - 15:15

WA charities in greater need

10/08/2009 - 15:15

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Charities in Western Australia have seen a more than 5 per cent rise in demand for their services as a result of the global economic downturn, a new survey reveals.

Charities in Western Australia have seen a more than 5 per cent rise in demand for their services as a result of the global economic downturn, a new survey reveals.

 

The announcement is below:

 

 

A number of surveys on the impact of the recession on the charity sector have shown a sector under considerable pressure, with declining incomes and increasing costs. But what about the demand for their services?

Givewell's latest survey, released today, confirms this triple whammy with a near 5% increase in demand for the important services the charity sector provides. What's more, charities are not expecting any "economic recovery" soon. They expect another 5% increase in demand next year.

Givewell executive director Michael Walsh said "this is a far worse situation than what we are being told about the overall economy".

"Charities that help the poor and disadvantaged are worst hit, as are those operating in smaller States (by population)", Walsh said.

The survey finds that almost two-thirds of charities (63%) have experienced a material increase in the demand for their services for the 2009 financial year, with an overall average weighted increase of 4.9 per cent.

Similarly, two-thirds state that they believe the economic recession explains this increase, with responses ranging from 'to an extent' to 'almost entirely'.

Expectations for the future are also of concern, with 68 per cent expecting the demand for their services to increase further in the 2010 financial year. Analysis shows that after combining the weighted increase for 2009 with the expected increase in 2010, the average weighted increase in demand for services since the downturn first emerged is expected to be around 10 per cent by 2010.

Categories worst hit are:

- Humanitarian - 100% experienced increased demand, with 63% blaming the recession and an average increase of 11.4%
- Welfare - 91% experienced increased demand, with 78% blaming the recession and an average increase of 6.8%
- Community Support - 76% experienced increased demand, with 76% blaming the recession and an average increase of 6.3%

States worst hit are:

QLD - average increase of 6.8%, but only 57% blaming the recession
SA - average increase of 5.7%, with 68% blaming the recession
WA - average increase of 5.4%, with 74% blaming the recession

The results show that size of charity is not a determining factor in terms of the extent of impact.

Givewell will continue to monitor the impacts of the downturn, with particular interest to the analysis of charities' 2009 financial statements as they become available in the coming months.


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