UK Civil Society Almanac 2014 /
How much is the voluntary sector borrowing?

The voluntary sector’s liabilities cover a wide range of future commitments. Just over one-quarter (26%) of the liabilities relate to borrowing that voluntary organisations have undertaken. This proportion has increased since the last time that loans were analysed in 2001/02. In 2011/12, the voluntary sector owed around £4 billion in loans, equivalent to 4% of their total net assets.

The analysis suggests that around 60% of these loans are secured against an asset, with the remainder unsecured. Many of the unsecured loans will be more informal, perhaps lent by a donor or trustee with favourable terms. For small and medium organisations loans represent a larger proportion of their liabilities (32%).

Type of liabilities, 2011/12 (% of liabilities, excluding micro organisations)
A pie chart showing that 26.8% of the sector's liabilities are loans, and 5.9% bonds, with 30.9% being grants committed in advance, and 36.4% amounds owed to other creditors

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Estimates of the total value of loans, 2001/02 and 2011/12 (£ millions)
 Loan financeTotal liabilities*% of liabilities

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Source: NCVO/TSRC, Charity Commission
* Excludes pension liabilties and micro organisations
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UK Civil Society Almanac 2014 / The Voluntary Sector /Assets

Published: 04-04-2014