HARD-UP charities may do better financially if they spent less time chasing grants and more time investing in their organisation’s ability to deliver services, according to a new report.

Research into 3,600 charities carried out by think-tank IPPR North and Durham University’s St Chad’s College found that the majority of financially vulnerable charities viewed their priorities as fund raising.

Only 37 per cent viewed strategy as a top priority.

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The study found that in “a long era of austerity” the most cash-strapped charities are focusing on fundraising, but too many work in “in constant crisis management mode, believing the next grant will solve their problems”.

Professor Tony Chapman, of St Chad’s College, said: “The impact of government austerity policies has been highly uneven, with those organisations in the poorest areas worst hit. Many charities are adapting to survive in this new environment.

“But many others, especially financially vulnerable charities, are be locked into patterns of behaviour which are underpinned by a belief that the next grant that comes in will solve all their problems.

“Sadly, this is not true – money can be the cause of problems if a charity does not have the skill, belief or people to do the work.”