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29 April 2010

Two recent reports highlight the degree to which large voluntary sector organisations have become dependent on state funding and are facing possible ruin as a result.

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations has published data which shows that large charities, those with an income of  over £1 million a year, receive an average of 38% of their funding from government sources.  These charities represent just 2.4% of all the charities in the UK. 

On the other hand, over 50% of all charities have an income of less than £10,000 a year and these receive less than 5% of their income from the government.

Voluntary agencies which provide employment opportunities are most dependent on state handouts, deriving a massive 70% of their funding from the taxpayer.

Dame Suzi Leather, chair of the Charity Commission, has already warned that, with the prospect of deep cuts in public finance after the election “There is a real concern that charities which receive money from the public purse to fund their valuable work could find themselves at a financial cliff edge in March 2011.”

There are undoubtedly some claimants who have been on the receiving end of charities working for the government, who would be happy to give a final, hearty shove to teetering organisations.

The NCVO report is available here.

The Charity Commission report is available here.

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