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Join us as we navigate the risks of a no-deal Brexit

October 16, 2019

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Tim Boyes-Watson

Associate Consultant, UK

Preliminary findings and a call for all UK INGOs to be part of Humentum’s research into the risks and implications of a no-deal Brexit

Humentum recently surveyed larger INGOs in the UK on the potential impact of a no-deal Brexit. Twenty-five organisations submitted responses, which enabled us to produce a draft sector-wide Risk Register, which is available here.

The key summary findings of this survey were:

Foreign exchange risk is the least well managed or mitigated risk
The risk which is least well managed or mitigated at the sector level is the risk of a fall in purchasing power if GBP falls as a result of a no-deal Brexit. Only 4 of the 25 INGOs that responded are currently buying forward FX contracts.

The risk of loss of access to EC funds has been mitigated in the short-term
​The risk related to the cancellation of EC awards in the event of a no-deal Brexit is mitigated in the short-term by DFID’s assurance scheme. The other most common mitigation actions being undertaken by INGOs is to switch fundraising to EC-based affiliates, (with 13 out of 25 INGOs planning to do this).  The longer-term risks and implications to the UK INGO sector of losing access to EC funding will be researched in Phase 2 of Humentum’s research.

Most INGOs expect public fundraising to be flat and for it to fall in the event of No Deal
​Most INGOs were already forecasting public fundraising to grow below 1% and expect this to be further negatively impacted by a no-deal Brexit. INGOs are adopting adaptive planning techniques to rein back expenditure to match income, making cuts as required.

No evidence that Brexit has harmed retention of Non-UK EU employees so far
​The majority of INGOs report that there has been little or no impact on their ability to retain staff who are non-UK EU citizens. (15 of the 20 INGOs who provided staff turnover data had general staff turnover rates that were higher than those for their non-UK EU citizens.)

We urgently need your help to gather more data.

We want to gather more responses from UK CSOs that have not been part of the survey so far, to enable us to build a bigger picture of the key risks and implications for organisations and the sector. Sharing this data and the mitigating actions undertaken by different organisations will help us prepare as much as possible for a no-deal Brexit. We will also use it to work with you and DFID to identify ways we could better manage and mitigate these risks at the sector-level.

We would be extremely grateful if you could join this research and complete this short survey by Wednesday, 23 October. The survey should take you a maximum of 30 minutes, although you may need to engage others in your organisation for some of the answers.

We will only share anonymised data with DFID, Bond and the sector. We recognise that this requires you to trust us as Humentum with this data, as you have done previously in studies such as the cost benchmarking study. We will share which organisations participated in our research as we and DFID do appreciate your contribution to this work and want you to be credited for participating. If you have any concerns about this, please discuss these with us.

We will share the results from this research with you once completed. The focus of our research will shift to the more medium and longer-term implications of a potential no-deal Brexit next.

Please join the research effort now! 

Thank you