Russell-Cooke has sponsored the Ethical Property Foundation's Charity Property Matters Survey 2020, published on 26 November 2020.

The 5th Charity Property Matters Survey is the latest in a biannual research project run by the Ethical Property Foundation, which is a property advice charity for the voluntary sector. This year with the Covid pandemic severely affecting voluntary groups, the findings have centred on property cost, knowledge and barriers to success. 

Results reveal: 

  • 60%+ face problems relating to the suitability of premises for their operations
  • 51% believe property issues are a significant risk to their charity's future sustainability
  • 45% believe property issues are a barrier to delivering their charity's objectives
  • 42% report problems in finding suitable, affordable accommodation
  • one in four charities are in dispute with their landlord

The 2020 survey sample was 200 respondents spread across a wide diversity of charity sectors. The most common were involved in education, health/disability, village halls/community centres, culture and recreation, and community development. The sample was distributed across all regions of England and Wales with a concentration in Greater London (45%).

Russell-Cooke's charity property team has partnered with the Ethical Property Foundation for some years, providing free initial legal advice to a wide variety of charities.

Antonia Swinson, CEO of Ethical Property Foundation said: "This Survey, our fifth since 2012, is building up hugely valuable data on the property trends and challenges our sector faces. Covid has forced premises management high up the agenda for all charities and we have seen its impact with many charities facing much reduced income, having to  to close their premises, furlough staff and slash front line services just when they are needed most. We are hugely grateful to everyone who found the time to complete the survey in such difficult circumstances."

Andrew Small, charity property partner at Russell-Cooke said: "This year has been extraordinarily difficult for charities and the pressures are greater than ever. The events of 2020 have raised some fundamental questions for charities about what their property requirements will be in future. It is crucial to get an understanding of how smaller and medium-sized charities are grappling with these questions and this survey plays an important role, as does the work of the Ethical Property Foundation, in highlighting the issues and therefore letting us find some potential solutions."

The full survey results can be found here.