NCVO 2017 Almanac: the state of the voluntary sector

As always the NCVO Almanac provides an invaluable resource to all those working in the Voluntary and Community sector.  Offered in bite size chunks but enabling access to more detailed data and analysis this is an essential source of information.  At coming as it does in the run up to a general election, the 2017 version could not be more timely.  However as some commentators point out the facts and figures are generated from the year 14/15.  Kirsty Weakley, writing in for Civil Society, is among those to point out that this pre-dates some major fundraising scandals and of course the Brexit referendum.

As well as warning regarding the financial state of the sector overall (particularly the lack of prospects for growth), the huge concentration of assets in a very small number of organisations.  As summarised on the website Third Sector : “90 per cent of the sector’s £112.7bn of total assets – such as property, cash and investments – are held by just 3 per cent of charities, with the top 100 asset owners accounting for half of the sector’s total.” and in contrast: “Approximately 48 per cent of all charities are described as “micro”, defined as those with annual incomes of less than £10,000, the almanac says. Another 34 per cent it categorises as “small”, with annual incomes of between £10,000 and £100,000.”

While it will take a while to digest the full reports a few other interesting facts caught my eye:

  • volunteering rates remain largely unchanged although rates of regular formal volunteering among young people have dropped slightly for the first time since 2010/11
  • overall there is little gender difference in participation but type of activities are somewhat gendered (with women performing more care related roles)
  • 35% of unemployed people reported regular formal volunteering, compared with 27% of people who were employed and 27% who were economically inactive.
  • When presented with a list of charitable services, more than nine in ten people report having accessed at least one service, with children and young people once again the most common beneficiary group

Importantly the NCVO highlight the need to “guard against complacency” highlighting that there are likely to be very challenging times ahead.

Please see the NCVO for full details of the almanac.  Congratulations to all involved in once again producing this excellent report.



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