Cost of Living Crisis

We have all seen the headlines in recent months about the cost of living crisis, it goes without saying that the volunteer and charity sector will be hard hit by this crisis.

MVA Reference Guide to Cost Cutting Measures

Whitney leaning against a railing on a downtown street

We have seen the headlines in recent months about the Cost of Living Crisis and the voluntary and community sector is also being hit hard by this crisis. MVA has therefore been curating resources (see table below) that may help the VCS during this crisis.

MVA is also running a VCS poll on the Cost of Living Crisis to help monitor the impact and priorities for Medway’s VCS.

The latest data from this poll (28th November 2022) indicate that 91% of those polled have said the Cost of Living Crisis is having an impact on their organisations.

The top 3 areas identified as the most concerning:

  • Staff and Volunteer Costs 66%
  • Delivering Activities 71%
  • Utilities 60%
The Charity Excellence Framework has a recent update on the Cost of Living Crisis and how it is affecting organisations, as well as the recent UK Government Budget impact on Charities on 17th November 2022. The link is here: UK Charity Sector Cost Of Living Crisis Impact Forecast
Please note we are not responsible for any third-party websites, however we have tried to search for trusted sources wherever possible.

Links to advice on cost cutting measures (last updated: 26th February 2024)

Energy Costs

Everyone in the UK is aware of soaring energy costs and under current proposals at time of writing, prices will rise in October 2022 and there is a cap on unit price (not a £2,500 cap as some individuals and organisations bills will be more than £2,500).

The first link, is about Government scheme to provide energy bill relief to organisations, including charities. It helps ease bills between October 2022 and March 2023.

The second link introduces methods to keep these costs down, for example switching to LED light bulbs from Halogen light bulbs will save you money. For more saving tips, click on the link.

The final link is fantastic work completed by Charity Excellence Framework, who are also looking into helping charities with information to save on bills, there are some excellent tips and advice in the article.


Water CostsWith drought conditions in the South East (and the rest of the country this summer), it is more important than ever to conserve water. There is an upside to conserving water as it will save you costs, click on the link to see how your organisation could save money.Weblink
Phone and Broadband CostsCommunication is a key part to any organisation and during the cost of living crisis it will be more vital than ever that charities can communicate with service users and with other VCS organisations. The first article focuses on broadband saving (with some TV information – handy for personal use at home) and the second one focuses on phone bill saving.Weblink

Staff and Volunteer Costs
Petrol and Transport Costs

In 2022 we saw the highest petrol and diesel costs recorded in the UK ever, with Staff and Volunteers that drive that can be a large impact on their costs. The first article is about how to save up to 30% on fuel.

The second article is about setting up carshare schemes in workplaces. The third article is about saving tips to reduce Public Transport costs.


Parking Costs

Parking costs are sometimes a cost that can be out of our control, however by doing car shares between employees and employees taking public transport those can reduce these costs (see above).

This link provides tips on how to save on costs with regards to parking.
IT CostsWe know IT is essential for any organisation and at times it can be a huge expenditure. The first link can give helpful tips to reduce IT costs. The second link is a Kent Based organisation who may be able to assist in getting Hardware (Laptops in particular). The last link is something you and your organisation may be able to help with in getting a service user access to devices such as tablets.


Office Supply Costs

Working in an office has some regular and routine office supply costs.

The link has several tips on ways to reduce these costs. For example, using generic brands and going paperless can save money.
Delivering Activities
Refreshment Costs

When it comes to delivering activities, the old mantra of “if you don’t ask you don’t get” can work. Regarding refreshments, if you have hired a venue, some venues will give you a reduced cost as you are a charity. Additionally, supermarkets have been known to donate to charities for tea, coffee and biscuits.

Local branches of the big 4 in Medway:
Tesco – Rainham - 0345 677 9300
Asda – Chatham - 01634 666112
Morrisons – Strood - 01634 714873
Sainsburys – Hempstead Valley - 01634 648550

If you are having an outing, where you need to purchase refreshments, there are always tips and tricks, the link is a great reference guide.
Venue Hire Costs

When it comes to delivering activities, the old mantra of “if you don’t ask you don’t get” can work. Regarding venue hire, just ask if you can host an event for free or at a reduced cost just by asking (remember it looks good to the venue as they can say they host charities for free!).

The first link is tips on reducing costs, the second is a free service for charities to find locations around the UK, including Medway and the third link is a list of all halls that can be booked in Medway, some are free and others provide a discount to charities.



Training Costs

The internet is full of free training resources, these links can help you search for the area of training you are looking after.

If you are looking to hire a trainer, remember the mantra of “if you don’t ask, you don’t get” – so it may be worth asking whether they can offer you a discount.




Fundraising right now during the cost of living crisis is a concern, it is about getting the tone and approach to it right. This link is a series of helpful tips on how to conduct fundraising going forward.


Charity DigitalThe impact of digital on the charity sector has been huge. Digital transformation has helped to increase fundraising efforts, improve service deliver, expand trust and transparency, enhance marketing and communications, and support the day-to-day operations of in-house charity teams.Weblink

Kent Community Foundation
Support for applicants
The majority of our grant-making is to groups, in particular small community and voluntary groups that are charitable in purpose and are working the benefit of people in Kent and Medway. Please see weblink to find important information about our grant funding.Weblink

Asda Foundation

Asda Foundation is an independent charity with more than 30 years' history of helping people in local communities.
Our mission is to transform communities and improve lives throughout the UK, complementing Asda Stores' ambition building long-term community resilience and being there in times of crisis.


Funded Team

Whether you are a charity, non-profit or community group, the Funded Team will help you secure the funding needed to continue and scale your work.
Our team of experienced grant funding consultants provide affordable best-in-class writing, consulting and trainibng to significantly improve your chances of securing grant funding.




For service users of your organisation, there is an organisation called ReferKent which is an online referral system that aims to strengthen referrals across Kent, which will help service users who live outside Medway.

Discounts for Charity Workers

There are offers and discounts that are given to those that work in the sector, including any volunteers. Discounts at brands include Boohoo and Argos. If you want to know more, please click on the link.

ThirdSectorNavigating the cost-of-living crisis: Advice for charity finacne leaders. Indeed, recent research carried out by the Charities Aid Foundation showed that more than half of the UK’s charities were worried they would not survive. The reality is that most of the country’s charities are small and are often ill-equipped to deal with any recession, much less one that follows two years of a pandemic.Weblink
Good Causes in KentOne of the reasons we set up the Kent Charity Awards was to recognise those who make the lives of others better. In the weblink are just some of the good causes and charities we have in Kent.Weblink
QlicWe understand the challenges that not-for-profits face and from specialising in the third sector for over 20 years, we use our extensive experience to deliver you the best IT service, as well as consultancy, at highly incentivised prices.Weblink
Government - Find a grantFind a grant is a service that allows you to search government grants. This is a pilot service and it is being co-created with our users.

You can use this service to:
- access government grant funding
- find out if you are eligible to apply for a grant
- find out how to apply for a grant
KnowhowThe Foundation for Social Improvement & NCVO can help with advice on Accounting and Finance, you can contact the team at NCVOWeblink
ICAEWHelping charities through the cost-of-living crisis.
With recession looming, what should be top of the list of strategiv considerations for charity accountants to help support the sector?

Medway Voluntary Action hosted a summit for Voluntary and Community Sector organisations/groups and other local stakeholders to network with their peers and explore the local response to the Cost of Living Crisis. Please find the presentations from this summit below:

MVA support that may be useful during the Cost of Living Crisis - Click here for presentation

The cost of Living crisis and its impact on the third sector – A perfect storm - Click here for presentation

Top ten tips for trust fundraising - Click here for presentation

Your Service Users/Local Residents: We have a dedicated page of resources that may help your service users and other local residents at this time - click here to visit this page

Keep an eye on our events listing page found here, as there may be some local support events that could be useful to you. If you have something to add to the events page as well, please submit an event.

Medway Voluntary Action are here to help organisations in Medway, now more than ever. We have a series of supporting measures such as Funding and Governance Club and even a one on one support service with organisations, please contact or on 01634 812 850.