23rd Quarterly Confidence Report

A survey on the experiences and outlooks of voluntary and community organisations across Yorkshire and the Humber, published October 2015.

The Involve Yorkshire & Humber Quarterly Confidence Survey (QCS) looks at issues such as the economic conditions charities have been facing; their own organisational plans and how they think government and other policy makers could support the sector.

This report is based on an online survey carried out over three weeks in August 2015. The 142 respondents to this survey were asked questions relating to the next three and 12 months. There are also some responses to open-ended questions, which we hope illuminate some of the quantitative information. Table 1 at the end of this report shows the responses to the most recent survey and allows for comparison across a full year of results on questions that are repeated each survey.

In this latest survey we asked respondents a one-off series of questions about their experiences with commissioning: Have you previously been commissioned by the statutory sector to provide services?;Who have you been commissioned by?; What services were/are you commissioned to provide?; What one thing was most useful in successfully being commissioned?; and What do you find is the biggest challenge when working with, or trying to work with, commissioners?

Key results from the latest survey

  • 60.3% of respondents believe economic conditions for the voluntary and community sector will deteriorate over the next 12 months.
  • 51.2% of respondents expect their organisation’s financial situation to remain stable over the next 12 months. 34.1% expect it to deteriorate and 14.6% expect it to improve.
  • 56.5% of respondents expect their organisation’s general situation to remain stable over the next 12 months. 17.7% expect it to improve and 25.8% expect it to deteriorate.
  • 48.9% of respondents have no plans to change the extent of services they offer in the next quarter, while 39.9% plan to increase services and 12.2% intend to decrease services offered.
  • Most respondents (66.4%) have no plans to change the number of paid staff over the next three months. 20.8% have plans to increase paid staff and 12.8% are planning to decrease staff numbers.
  • A small majority of respondents (52.3%) expect they will increase volunteer numbers over the next three months. 46.1% expect no change to volunteer numbers whilst 1.6% expect they will decrease.
  • There has been a 10.6% drop in the number of respondents expecting to collaborate more over the next 12 months, compared to our May 2015 survey. However these still are the majority with 59.8%, while 3.3% expect to collaborate less and 36.9% expect no change.
  • Over half of respondents (56.9%) expect their involvement in local/sub-regional and regional decision-making to remain the same over the next 12 months, 37.6% expect to become more involved in decision-making, and 8.6% expect to be involved less.
  • The majority of organisations (71.7%) are not funded to participate in decision making and over a fifth (20.2%) are “inadequately funded” to participate.
  • Of those who are involved in local, sub-regional and regional decision-making, there has been a steady increase in those who think their involvement has been productive, with 13% more respondents selecting this option this August compared with October last year. Many more organisations also feel that they can point to tangible achievements in decision-making, with an increase of 19.7% just in the last quarter.
  • 44.2% of respondents expect their local authority to have a positive influence on their organisation’s success over the next 12 months, while 19.5% expect LAs to have a negative influence.
  •  33.9% expect their local clinical commissioning group (CCG) to have a positive influence on their organisation’s success over the next 12 months, while 7.1% expect CCG influence to be negative.
  • Most respondents do not expect central government departments to have any influence on their success. The two central government departments deemed most influential are the Department of Health (DoH) and the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).
  • The majority of respondents (66.4%) are not currently involved in a campaign to influence policy. Of these, 65.1% say it is because they do not have the capacity or resources to do so.

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