Man using magnifying glass to examine wood block house

Adapting charity property to a COVID world

Published : 11/02/22 | Categories: News |

Voluntary organisations in Wales are being called on to take part in the 2022 Charity Property Matters Survey.

The COVID-19 pandemic has galvanised, traumatised, and reshaped our voluntary sector and how it uses its property whether rented or owned. To discover just how big these changes are, the Ethical Property Foundation has launched the 2022 Charity Property Matters Survey – ‘Adapting Charity Property to a COVID World’, to listen and learn from charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups across England & Wales.

Property issues can have a serious impact on the viability and resilience of voluntary organisations, as evidenced during the pandemic. Lockdown and working from home requirements forced voluntary organisations to adapt ways of working and service delivery, whilst the closure of charity shops resulted in a significant loss of income. As we now start to look to the future, voluntary organisations are facing serious challenges which need to be heard and understood.


Every two years, the Ethical Property Foundation runs the Charity Property Matters Survey, asking voluntary organisations across England & Wales about their property issues. This is becoming increasingly valuable research providing the voluntary sector, policymakers, landlords, grant funders and social lenders with a clear understanding of the challenges and opportunities voluntary organisations face.

The pandemic has raised new questions about the suitability of property for a voluntary organisation’s needs, with some asking do we need a property at all?

Whilst there may be a financial incentive to reduce property commitments the decision making is complex and involves social capital too: what about those people who are desperate to return to the office, and how would changes impact on the local community? Then there are those special buildings people feel passionately about – heritage buildings for example, or places of worship.


As the voluntary sector looks to move forward there is learning to share about how voluntary organisations can collaborate as a sector to ensure we can be good stewards of our buildings, money, people, communities and causes.

If you are involved with a voluntary organisation, please take a few minutes to complete the 2022 survey (English only). By supporting the only charity-led property research in the UK, you will help our sector understand how the pandemic has changed us and how we can build our future.


The Ethical Property Foundation provides free property learning and advice to charities, social enterprises, and community groups, as well as affordable consultancy.


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