Half of charity leaders could quit due to mental health crisis: ACOSVO responds

A study out today, and published in TFN, highlights the charity sector is facing a leadership crisis after new research found nearly half of senior leaders are considering walking away due to burnout.


In a survey of charity leaders by insurer Ecclesiastical almost half (44%) admitted they were considering their futures as a result of the increased demands due to Covid-19 - a major cause for concern for a sector under pressure from staff and volunteer burnout.


ACOSVO Chief Exectutive, Pat Armstrong OBE has responded saying:

"The findings of this study don’t come as any great surprise to those of us working with leaders in the sector. The pressure has been immense - whether scaling up to meet demand, scaling back through lack of funding or restrictions on operations, or just keeping things going.

Holding the responsibility for staff wellbeing while trying to take your own into account is no easy task. We’ve found that it’s been a time when peer support has been more valuable & valued than ever. I also think there are other factors to take into account.

A study we did with members a few years ago showed around 50% were planning to leave or retire in next 5 years, so there was an aging demographic & a pipeline challenge already. This along with many re-evaluating life plans post pandemic has meant many changes may be on the way.

An optimistic spin could be those that need it most have a chance for a well-deserved rest (not forgetting many move to sector support roles as mentors, trustees, facilitators..) & we get a new pipeline of those ready & excited about leading the sector into emerging future."


At ACOSVO, we take the mental health of our leaders extremely seriously. We have a number of services, events and resources aimed specifically at supporting the sector's leaders mental health including Leader Support Service; Mentoring Programme; Wellbeing Guide; CEO Check-Ins, as well as peer support, events and more. Mental Health Awareness Week runs between May 10th and 16th and is the perfect opportunity to ensure you are looking after yourself and prioritising your mental health.