Ecclesiastical Insurance publishes second Charity Risk Barometer and findings show brokers have a role to play in supporting charity customers

19 January 2021


Specialist insurer and ICMIF member Ecclesiastical Insurance (UK) has published its second Charity Risk Barometer which identifies risks facing the UK’s charity sector – and the findings show brokers have a role to play in supporting charity customers.

Key findings include:

  • Loss of funding remains single biggest threat to charities
  • Impact of COVID-19 means surviving the next six months is more important to charities than planning for the next five years
  • Global pandemic has meant charities have had to adapt and innovate to continue to provide services

The in-depth study explores the immediate and emerging risks facing the charity sector and provides unique insight to support brokers in giving their customers risk management guidance.

COVID-19 proved to be an unavoidable narrative thread, heightening existing concerns, including loss of funding which remains the biggest risk facing charities. With the pandemic amplifying financial concerns just under three quarters (71%) of UK charities have said they are more concerned about loss of funding as a direct result of COVID-19.

With charities trying to do more with less, as well as the challenges of working remotely through lockdown, 44% of charities ranked stress-related burnout as a significant threat to their operations.

The top five risks identified over the next 12 months by the survey were:

  1. Loss of funding – 55%
  2. Employee burnout – 44%
  3. Political instability – 43%
  4. Meeting the needs of service users due to Covid restrictions – 42%
  5. Brexit – 35%

The report captures the key concerns of charities over the short, medium and long term and the findings provide a snapshot of the issues facing charities, giving brokers the insight to work with their clients to find solutions to help navigate this challenging time.

Angus Roy, Charity Director at Ecclesiastical Insurance, commented: “Charities have become used to dealing with challenges, but this year has given us a perfect storm of a loss of funding through fundraising activities, a reduction in giving from corporate partners, as well as the general public, and an increase in need has left many charities at crisis point.

“As one of the leading insurers of charities in the UK, Ecclesiastical’s goal is to be a strategic partner to the charity sector. Our aim is not only to help customers identify and manage their risks but also to work with them to provide solutions for the longer term – something we believe is critical as we emerge from the fog of Covid-19.

“Brokers have an important role to play in supporting their charity clients to understand and manage their risks and we hope this new report will provide invaluable insight for them.”

The full Barometer can be found at

The launch of the Barometer follows many initiatives from Ecclesiastical last year to support UK charities, including in September 2020, the announcement that it had developed a fundraising hub with a range of resources to help UK-based charities raise vital funds.

In November 2020, Ecclesiastical (UK) announced that the mutual insurer would be giving 120 different charities an early Christmas gift of a GBP 1,000 donation, with 10 winners announced each weekday from 7 to 22 December 2020. The previous month, the insurer had also announced that ten charitable causes from across the UK had each been selected for a GBP 50,000 gift as part of Ecclesiastical Insurance’s Movement for Good awards. At that time, the Movement for Good awards had already seen a total of GBP 1million given to charities across the UK over the summer period with 500 charities having already been awarded donations of £1,000 earlier in 2020.

For member-only strategic content on the cooperative/mutual insurance sector, ICMIF members have exclusive access to a range of online resources through the ICMIF Knowledge Hub.

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