Civil Society Almanac reveals state of voluntary sector

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20 June, 2019


The total number of voluntary organisations remains relatively stable, but there is a notable growth among bigger organisations according to the latest UK Civil Society Almanac.

Despite the growth in bigger organisations, the voluntary sector is dominated by small organisations that operate locally. Eight in ten organisations have an income of less than £100,000.

The report is published every year by NCVO and aims to be the definitive resource on the state of the voluntary sector.

It draws on a range of sources to produce insights on what voluntary organisations do, their income and spending, workforce, volunteers and the sector's impact.

Highlights from the report include:

  • The public and government remain the largest income sources for the sector, however in 2016/17 overall growth was driven by grants and investments
  • The way in which the sector receives money from the public is showing signs of change. For the first time in six years, there was a fall in income from the public and donations, while income from legacies continued to rise.
  • The amount of income from government remained stable but has fallen as a proportion of total income
  • Spending on grants grew 5% to a new record high of £7 billion
  • Net assets continued to grow, marking a new record high
  • The voluntary sector is highly educated and less likely to experience skills gaps
  • Volunteering rates are stable, but diversity remains an issue
  • The reach and impact of voluntary organisations is wide-ranging: Nine in ten UK households have accessed services provided by voluntary organisations at some point

Visit the UK Civil Society Almanac 2019 to find out more.