The divide between Britain’s biggest and smaller charities appears to be widening with the news that the income of bigger charities grew in 2013/14, while that of smaller and medium-sized charities’ decreased in real terms, continuing a long-term trend.
According to the latest Civil Society Almanac, 2013/14 saw a 5.8% rise in the income of the charity sector as a whole in real terms on the previous year, to £43.8 billion (€54.8 bn), mainly as a result of increases in income from individuals, with donations up 7.7% at £7.2 billion(€9 bn).
The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), author of the Almanac, has announced that charities with an annual income £10m–£100m saw income growth of 3.7%, while those in categories below £1m experienced an income fall (£100,000–£1m: -0.7%, £10,000–£100,000: -1.7%, <£10,000, -3.6%).
The total income of those charities in the £100m+ category grew 26% – this was driven partly by increases in their income but also by an increase in the size of the category as a whole with a notable number of charities exceeding the £100m threshold for the first time.
The figures, based on analysis of charities’ accounts as submitted to the Charity Commission, also reveal that Government grants to the sector, at £2.8 billion (€3.5 bn), are less than half the level they were ten years prior in 2003/4.
The Almanac also contains analysis of government volunteering statistics, which uncovers a sharp rise in youth volunteering.
Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO, said:
“Charities of all sizes make an immense difference to our society and our world every day. We should be pleased that some of Britain’s most well-known and influential charities are continuing to grow and thrive.
“However, while we should remember that each charity’s circumstances will differ, these figures do underline our concern that small and medium-sized charities are struggling in particular at the moment.”