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Overall sector income rises but smaller charities continue to struggle

Melanie May | 14 April 2016 | News

The charity sector saw a 5.8% rise in overall income in 2013/14, but while Britain’s biggest charities saw their income rise in 2013/14, smaller charities saw a decrease in real terms, according to NVCO statistics.
Charities with an annual income of more than £10m saw growth, while overall income for smaller and medium-sized charities declined or stayed the same. Those in the £10m–£100m annual income category saw income grow by 3.7%, while those in categories below £1m all saw falls in their income.
Charities in the £100,000-£1m category saw their income decrease by -0.7%, while those in the £10,000-£100,000 category saw a -1.7% drop, and those with an income of less than £10,000, saw a fall of -3.6%.
The total income of those charities in the £100m+ category grew 26%, driven in part 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 are based on analysis of charities’ accounts as submitted to the Charity Commission, and highlight a continuing overall trend of larger charities increasing their income in recent years, while smaller charities have seen reductions.
Overall income
Overall income for the sector increased to £43.8bn in 2013/14, mainly as a result of increases in income from individuals. Spending also rose by 3.5% to £41.7bn. Earned income from individuals, including fees for services and fundraising earnings such as charity shop sales, was up 4.2% to £10bn, while donations were up 7.7% at £7.2bn. Total income from individuals grew to its highest level ever in real terms at £19.4bn, though donations remained below their 2010/11 peak.
Income from government, largely in the form of contracts for running public services, also rose by 3.5% to £15bn, but remained below its 2007/8 to 2011/12 level. Most of the rise in government income went to the largest of charities with incomes over £100m a year. This was driven in particular by a number of very large contracts with or grants to charities in this category. However, government grants to the sector, at £2.8bn, were less than half their level ten years prior in 2003/4.
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, these figures do underline our concern that small and medium-sized charities are struggling in particular at the moment. We all need to focus on what more can be done to support those good organisations which are nevertheless continuing to struggle in the current climate.”



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