Charities need to take a longer term view of risk or face “increasing threats” to their prosperity and security, according to a new report by Ecclesiastical Insurance.
The specialist insurer has published its first Charity Risk Barometer, an in-depth study exploring the immediate and emerging risks facing the charity sector. It also highlights potential solutions, with expert commentary from leading thinkers in the sector.
The report asked charity leaders about the biggest risks facing them over the short (12 months), medium (one to three years) and long term (five years).
Funding continues to be a major concern for all charities. The research found it was the top issue for charity leaders for the short and medium term and the second biggest concern over the next five years.
The impact of Brexit is also a “major” concern for the year ahead, with more than half of charities citing it as a concern, followed closely by growing political instability. Brexit was more of an issue for larger charities and became less important to all charities over the longer term.
Additionally, Ecclesiastical said in the wake of the Charity Commission’s criticism of Oxfam’s handling of the sexual exploitation scandal, reputational risks are high on charities’ agendas, emerging as the biggest perceived risk over the long term.
The report also highlights a number of emerging risks including charities’ ability to attract and retain talent, stress-related burnout among staff and engaging with the next generation of supporters.
Angus Roy, charity director at Ecclesiastical Insurance, said: “These are challenging times for the sector – uncertainty is the new norm and new risks are emerging all of the time. It is imperative that charities spend more time thinking about not only the potential rewards, but also the risks they are facing, now and in the future.”