To better understand the impact of coronavirus on the Third Sector, the Third Sector Interface (TSI) Scotland Network carried out a national survey over a two-month period with community groups, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. The survey also detailed the impact of coronavirus on the people and communities the organisations support.
1,184 organisations took part – local neighbourhood and national organisations – from across Scotland’s 32 Local Authorities. 25% self-defined as community groups; 61% as voluntary organisations and 14% as social enterprises.
This report highlights the main survey findings at a national level. EVOC has also distilled the information from the national survey into a spotlight on Edinburgh respondents and this summary report is available here: Edinburgh Findings from the TSI National Survey
- The financial situation of social enterprises as a consequence of Covid-19 is perilous, and without urgent financial support may not recover. 81% of social enterprises are experiencing a reduction in income from trading and 86% expect their financial position to worsen
- The cessation of the Job Retention Scheme will be a key pinch point in the financial recovery journey for all organisations. 58% of social enterprises and 39% of voluntary organisations (which employ staff) have staff furloughed and support will be required to avoid job losses.
- All organisations, large and small, are suffering from a reduction of income from fundraising which is further threatening the future of the sector. Half of the third sector is experiencing a reduction in income from fundraising
- Organisations have been entrepreneurial and adaptive during this crisis period. Half of all organisations have changed what they do, or modified how they deliver support to their community and people. 9% of social enterprises have started online trading.
- Organisations are seeing first hand the impact of COVID-19 on people’s mental health and are very concerned about the immediate and future effect. 9 out of 10 organisations are concerned about the effect of ongoing social distancing and shielding on mental health.
- Communities have flourished and risen to the challenge of supporting each other. A significant majority of organisations (84%) report that people are looking out for each other and 50% of organisations believe that there has been improved collaboration within the sector
Ella Simpson, Chief Executive of EVOC said:
“The Sector were delivering support where it was needed immediately it was clear we were in a deep crisis. We have never been more needed. COVID-19 shone a spotlight on the issues of deep-rooted inequality and poverty which exists in our society – crisis or no crisis. Our sector has a key role in the long hard recovery and in building a better society. As always, our mantra at EVOC is People, Place and Partnerships – we must re-double our efforts to work together across all sectors as we move forward.”
The full survey can be downloaded here: National TSI Covid Survey