Jersey Charities Spend £284M in 2023 Amid Rising Costs

Jersey-registered charities spent £284 million in 2023, a £105 million increase from 2022, despite facing "acute financial pressures" from rising costs. The number of registered charities on the island increased to 474, with total assets estimated at £2.2 billion.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Jersey Charities Spend £284M in 2023 Amid Rising Costs

Jersey Charities Spend £284M in 2023 Amid Rising Costs

Jersey-registered charities spent an estimated £284 million in 2023, a significant increase of £105 million from £179 million in 2022, according to the latest report from Jersey's charity commissioner, John Mills. This represents an average spend of £600,000 per charity, up from £390,000 in 2022.

The report highlights the "acute financial pressures" facing a number of charities due to rising costs, including staffing, electricity, and food prices. Charities are not immune to the cost of living increases, which impact their operations and services.

Why this matters: The financial struggles of charities can have a ripple effect on the community, impacting the most vulnerable populations who rely on their services. As charities face increased costs and decreased donations, it may lead to a reduction in essential services, exacerbating social and economic problems.

John Mills praised the "effort, hard work and sheer hustle" of those involved with charitable organizations, acknowledging the challenges they face. He emphasized the importance of addressing these problems while recognizing the good work done by Jersey-registered charities.

The Salvation Army, which saw demand for its services double in 2023, spent £60,000 on food, a £26,000 increase from 2022. Officer Richard Nunn attributed the rise to increased costs, including staffing and electricity. "We are seeing that the cost of a lot of the stuff we are doing has gone up," Nunn said. "The cost of living increases – we are not insulated from that – it impacts us just as much."

Tim Ringsdore, chair of the Sanctuary Trust homelessness charity, noted that all their running costs went up last year, combined with a drop in donations due to the cost of living. "All of our running costs went up last year... which combined with a general drop in donations due to the cost of living has created challenges for charities across the Island," Ringsdore said.

Despite the challenges, Richard Nunn highlighted the Island's "community spirit" as "something special," with people often finding ways to give back. Tim Ringsdore expressed optimism about the new government's recognition of the good work done by charities and their willingness to work closely with organizations like the Sanctuary Trust.

The Commissioner's annual report also revealed that the number of registered charities on the island increased to 474 in 2023, up from 457 in 2022. Additionally, the report estimated that island charities hold about £2.2 billion in assets in total.

Mills acknowledged the challenges faced by charities, including economic fluctuations, which affect their income streams. "Keeping charities going is obviously a challenge... A good deal of the work – and just about all the governance – relies heavily on advocacy by volunteers, and thus upon a great deal of personal drive, enthusiasm and commitment by many citizens who wish to seek to make a difference," Mills stated. There were no appeals to the Jersey Charity Tribunal in 2023.

Key Takeaways

  • Jersey-registered charities spent £284m in 2023, a £105m increase from 2022.
  • Average charity spend rose to £600,000, up from £390,000 in 2022.
  • Rising costs, including staffing and electricity, put pressure on charities.
  • 474 charities are now registered on the island, holding £2.2 billion in assets.
  • Charities face challenges, but community spirit and volunteer efforts help sustain them.