Share

Civil society still growing in size and income, 2007/08 Almanac shows

Civil society still growing in size and income, 2007/08 Almanac shows
News

Civil society still growing in size and income, 2007/08 Almanac shows1

Finance | Niki May Young | 20 Apr 2010

Civil society has grown by over 8,500 organisations between 2006 and 2008, according to the latest NCVO Almanac released today.

The figures reveal that there was a net gain of 8,681 new organisations in four types of organisation over that period and a net loss of just 147 in six types, despite the financial crisis.

The increases were seen by community interest companies (+931), co-operatives (+185), and faith groups (+646), but the largest increase was in general charities which gained 6,919 new organisations. In 2007/08 alone 4,953 new charities were registered in England and Wales. 

Trade unions, credit unions, universities, housing associations, building societies and political parties all saw minor decreases, comprising the 147 net drop.

The NCVO's research shows that the UK now has 900,000 civil society organisations employing approximately 1.6 million paid workers - 200,000 more than the NHS. The figure's, according to the NCVO, are a "conservative estimate".

Voluntary sector income still growing

A total income for civil society of £157bn was recorded by the research, and income for the voluntary and community sector grew by 2.8 per cent from £34.5bn in 2006/07 to £35.5bn in 2007/8.

While donations from individuals remains the single most important funding source for the voluntary sector, it remained stable at £13.1bn for the second year running.

The sector's reliance on the government shilling continued to grow. Overall income from statutory sources rose from £11.9bn in 2006/7 to £12.8bn in 2007/8, and earned income from delivering government contracts now stands at £9.1bn, a rise of 128 per cent since 2000/01.

Stuart Etherington, NCVO’s chief executive, said: "Central and local governments have rightly recognised and made greater use of the voluntary sector’s knowledge and expertise, particularly at a grassroots level."

But he fears that with public spending cuts imminent, the positive results seen in this year’s Almanac may be countered by a stormy year ahead, and said that civil society should not be first in the firing line:

"We know there will be severe cuts in public spending in the coming months. But we should not be seen as a cheap or fluffy addition to core public services. Our work is with some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people and communities in the country, and they stand to lose the most if vital services are cut."

Income from National Lottery distributors saw a significant drop, from £609m in 2006/7 to £523m in 2007/8 but legacies were at an all-time high of £2bn.

Spending on fundraising and publicity has risen too, up from £2.31bn to £2.57bn, and investment management costs have increased from £428m to £459m - a startling rise since its zero base in 2001/2.

The Almanac excludes 16,583 entities from the Charity Commission register with a combined income of £21.6bn that do not fall into its general charities definition. The majority are excluded because they are independent schools or universities, or because they are evangelical faith-based organisations. They include many organisations that the public may not realise are registered charities, such as exam boards.

Kevin Curley
Chief executive, NAVCA
NAVCA
21 Apr 2010

The Almanac figures show that for every £5 of grant funding available in 2000, only £4 was available in 2008. This is a dramatic drop and shows once and for all that grant funding is under threat – especially when you consider that these are figures for 2007/08, before we were hit by the recession.

We have consistently argued for the need to protect grant funding. We have been able to persuade the main political parties of the need to support grant funding. We have also seen major funders such as the NHS state that grants are desirable to support the full range of local organisations.

We have won the argument – now we need to see this decline in grant funding reversed. Unfortunately this will already be too late for many voluntary organisations and community groups.


Comments

[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The civilsociety.co.uk community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear

Please:

  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

Free eNews

Over £11m raised for MND Association and Macmillan from ice bucket challenge

19 Sep 2014

The Motor Neurone Disease Association has raised £6.8m from the viral fundraising craze the ice bucket...

DEC raises £102m in its 50th year

19 Sep 2014

The Disasters Emergency Committee and its member agencies raised £102m through two appeals in the last...

London Marathon runners raise £250m in past five years

19 Sep 2014

A quarter of a billion pounds has been raised by London Marathon runners in the past five years, according...

Lobbying Act comes into force today

19 Sep 2014

The Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014 comes into...

Devolution 'will affect how charities operate'

19 Sep 2014

The political landscape that charities operate in looks set to change following the Scottish decision...

Some charity leaders see themselves as ‘employees of government’

18 Sep 2014

Voluntary bodies and the state have become so intertwined that some charity leaders whose organisations...

JustGiving page for Manchester Dogs’ Home receives four donations a second

15 Sep 2014

JustGiving has said that donations going to an appeal for the Manchester Dogs’ Home following an arson...

Commission's new online charity search to launch soon after delay

15 Sep 2014

The Charity Commission’s searchable online register of charities is due to launch in beta this autumn,...

Charities warned that digital campaigns can be 'counterproductive'

9 Sep 2014

Charity digital campaigns can be counterproductive and will need to change to keep the attention of those...

Join the discussion

 Twitter button

@CSFinance