The charity sector has lost more than 25,000 jobs since the coronavirus pandemic began and a further 35,000 could go, according to new data.
Analysis of a survey of 455 charities has revealed that there are an estimated five times as many redundancies as the official 5,400 that have been announced.
The research from Pro Bono Economics, in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Fundraising and Charity Finance Group, found that 19 per cent of charities polled had already made redundancies.
It also revealed 23 per cent were planning to make further cutbacks once the government’s furlough scheme ends.
According to its charity sector tracker, the true number of redundancies may be closer to 25,600, while another 34,100 charity sector employees could lose their jobs by the end of the year.
And the largest charities are set to be hit the hardest, with 44 per cent of them being forced to let staff go.
The crisis comes at a time when charities are in increasing demand, while also receiving fewer donations.
Of those surveyed, 68 per cent said demand is rising, while 58 per cent said they had been forced to scale back services available.
Matt Whittaker, chief executive of Pro Bono Economic, said: “Charities have been under extraordinary pressure since the start of the pandemic, dealing with the perfect storm of increased demand and constrained resources.
“Navigating this period rests in part on getting more resources into the sector, from government, from existing funders and from members of the public.”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a £750m grant for charities in April but that has largely been given to causes most affected by coronavirus.
It leaves an estimated funding shortfall of around £10bn. However, Sunak admitted that the government could not match the spending the sector would have received this year.