07 July 2016, The Tablet

Catholic development agency facing closure

Progressio’s income in 2015 was £5,757,985

Catholic development charity Progressio has announced it may be forced to close due to a lack of funds.

In a statement released today, Martin McEnery, the charity’s Chair, said it had been difficult to secure funding for the future of the NGO, but a consultation period had been initiated which he hoped would enable the charity to “secure the unrestricted funding we need to survive into the future”.

Unrestricted funding is income a charity can use for any purpose. It usually goes towards the operating expenses of the organisation or to a particular project that the not-for-profit picks.

“The past five years have been increasingly challenging for Progressio and our projects overseas,” said Mr McEnery. “We have continued to deliver good work through these challenges, but it has been difficult to secure the funding – particularly unrestricted income – necessary to ensure a sustainable future. This is in spite of the best efforts of our staff and a number of close supporters.”

“We fervently hope that during the consultation period, initiated on 29 June 2016 and culminating in a trustee meeting on 14 September, we will be able to secure the unrestricted funding we need to survive into the future.  The trustees are open to other opportunities arising, yet we must remain realistic and act responsibly. On that basis, the consultation on the possibility of closure next spring will allow us to make balanced and informed decisions in light of both the long and short term interests of the charity, and in compliance with our legal duties. In the meantime all our ongoing work continues.”

Chief Executive, Mark Lister, said the charity had raised annually about £150,000 in unrestricted funds, but the threat to DFID grants meant they did not have enough to sustain their future. "Like many charities, particularly those working overseas, we are finding it more and more difficult," he told The Tablet. 

Progressio is currently contacting all stakeholders to communicate their plans for the consultation.

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