Kevin Fallows

Kevin Fallows

Crossing the line between cutting costs and cutting services.

Two minute read


According to CAF research from 2023, fewer than two-fifths (38%) of charities have confidence that they can afford to meet the current demand for their services and only half (55%) of charities are confident they can meet their current overheads, including energy, rent and supplies. In other research CAF found that half of charities (53%) surveyed say they are at full capacity for their services and of these, two-fifths (41%) say they cannot help anyone else! And incredibly, one in eight (12%) say they have been forced to turn away people in need!

And the recently released NCVO Road Ahead Report predicts the current tough economic climate for charities will continue through 2024 with both high inflation and interest rates creating challenges for organisations already juggling increasing operating costs and record demand for services.

The report finds that increased pressure on household budgets is still negatively impacting charitable giving, while the dire situation in local government across the country will have a knock-on effect for charity contracts and public sector funding. So whilst keeping vital services going is the priority, organisations must continue to adapt their operations.

Whilst most charities have made significant reductions in overhead costs over the past few COVID-affected years, the continuing pressures of the cost-of-living crisis means that the challenges facing many charities, like lower income and funding and higher service and salary demands as well as inflated overhead costs, have become entrenched.

With a complete recalibration of supplier retail prices, businesses and charities have seen suppliers recovering lost margins caused by their own post-COVID related problems and high inflation. But don’t assume your supplier costs are competitive just because you’re a charity.

Slashing essential support functions impair service delivery and diminish long-term impact. Charity Finance Directors are painfully aware of this and continuously balance prudent cost-saving measures with reductions that compromise the charity’s ability to fulfil their core mission statement.

Further reducing overhead costs can be implemented in such a way that it doesn’t materially impact on the core services, so if you are making difficult decisions to cut core services and would like to hear how I help my business and charity clients, please get in touch for an explanatory chat. I have 30+ years of experience and a 99% savings success rate negotiating best value pricing above and beyond that achieved by in-house purchasing staff. I work on a performance based, no savings, no charge contract so I’m self-funding.


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