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Survey of the charitable sector in Kent and Medway reveals that demand for services has continued to rise but so has confidence of survival and the number of organisations pulling together

In May and November 2020, we invited charities and community groups to complete a survey and tell us how they have been affected by the pandemic and what their future months looks like. In May 2021 we have again asked the sector to provide insight into what is happening and how we can help.

Here are they key findings...

Confidence of survival

  • Confidence of being in operation in the future is up with 76% of respondents saying they are 100% confident they’ll still be in operation in March, compared to 68% in Nov 2020

Demand for services

  • There’s been a further rise in those who say demand for services has increased from 47% in May 2020 to 59% in Nov 2020 to 74% in our latest survey
  • 1/4 of those who said it had increased said they hadn’t been able to meet the demand
  • 40% had to recruit to meet the increased demand

Collaborations between organisations

  • Organisations have pulled together during the pandemic, with 40% saying they had collaborated with other third party organisations more than they usually would.
  • Only 4% said they had collaborated less and 14% said they hadn’t collaborated with others and the remaining majority saying they had collaborated with others as they usually would

Moving services online – and getting back to face-to-face

  • The majority (68%) said they had moved part of all of their services online and 60% of those organisations intend to continue to deliver those services online
  • When asked whether there were barriers to returning to face-to-face services:
    • 60% cited uncertainty around COVID restrictions
    • 22% said space / location was no longer available
    • A quarter (28 respondents) said that there were no barriers


  • When it comes to fundraising events, more than a quarter (27%) said they would not be running fundraising events
  • Of those who said they would, 60% said they would either be face-to-face or both online and face-to-face showing some confidence


  • 43% said they currently, or will struggle, to recruit volunteers in the coming months
    • There were a number of reasons given for this but 73% cited nervousness around the risk of infection from COVID
  • Some other reasons people gave around difficulties in recruiting volunteers:
    • “Their priorities have changed or have found other interests”
    • “I think that people will be putting their family's first and doing more of what they want to in their spare time instead of volunteering”
    • "Some don't realise the magic of volunteering."

View the results as a downloadable PDF here

MASSIVE 'thank you ' to everyone at Kent Community Foundation. Your funding support is HUGELY appreciated and has enabled us to get into the heart of local communities with REAL, affordable, healthy and tasty food that does so much more than feed people.

Community chef Mike Spackman, Sheppey Matters

KCF's enthusiasm for what we are doing and hoping to do, coupled with helpful advice, gave us the confidence to take this daunting step which has paid off.

Liz Turner, Octopus Foundation

It's great having a foundation that empowers organisations and charities in our community to make real positive differences and changes!

Tom, MMK Mind