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%).