NCVO finds larger charities increasingly dominating voluntary sector

Bigger voluntary bodies are taking an increasingly large share of charitable income, while state funding for the sector is coming more and more from contracts not grants, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations said today.

The umbrella body’s annual almanac on the state of the sector found that while overall charitable income rose by 2.8% from 2003-4 to 2004-5, it increased by 13.6% for charities with with annual earnings of over £10m and fell sharply for voluntary organisations with yearly returns of less than £1m.

For those with annual incomes of less than £10,000, earnings fell by 10.7% on average from 2003-4 to 2004-5.

Contracts, as a proportion of government funding for the sector, rose from 48% to 62% from 2001-2 to 2004-5 at the expense of state grants. Overall, state funding rose from 37% to 38.5% of charitable income over this period.

NCVO chief executive Stuart Etherington said: “The research pours water over claims that charities are becoming semi-state bodies due to massive influxes of state funding. It does, however, show that government is moving away from grant funding towards awarding contracts to charities for delivering public services.”Related articles:

Voluntary sector: special report

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