Voluntary organisations can fulfil their charitable aims by financially supporting organisations and individuals through the giving of grants. In 2012/13, just over 28,000 voluntary organisations made grants and spent a total of £4.6 billion doing so.
A small group of very large grant-makers dominate
Unsurprisingly, the voluntary organisations that make the most grants are grant-making foundations, followed by research organisations. Together they account for almost 60% of the total grant expenditure of the voluntary sector.
|Charity Name||Spending on grants||Total Spending||Net assets|
|The Charities Aid Foundation||378||407||998|
|Cancer Research UK||203||540||313|
|The Save the Children Fund||159||309||94|
|British Heart Foundation||118||313||-31|
|Save the Children International||113||556||21|
|The British Council||106||880||357|
|The Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity||94||119||209|
|The Children's Investment Fund Foundation (UK)||68||98||2,445|
Grant-making is highest amongst major organisations, with almost one in three major organisations (31%) making grants, and lowest amongst medium sized organisations (13%). The 10 largest grant-makers accounted for 43% of the grants made.
The majority of grants are made to other voluntary organisations
Voluntary organisations receive grants worth nearly £2.5 billion from other voluntary organisations. International organisations receive the largest share of grants from the sector (30%), followed by culture and recreation organisations (13%) and social services organisations (13%). International organisations and umbrella bodies are the most dependent on grants made by the voluntary sector, accounting respectively for 21% and 11% of their total income (compared to an average of 6% for the sector as a whole).
Other recipients of grants made by the voluntary sector include Higher Education Institutions and the public sector, but also individuals.
Grant expenditure decreased in 2012/13
The level of grant-making peaked in 2007/08 and then dropped sharply in 2008/09, as the recession hit investment income and the value of assets. Grant-making improved in 2010/11, stayed static in 2011/12, but decreased by 7% in 2012/13. However, grant income from voluntary organisations to other voluntary organisations increased slightly over the same period (+3%). This suggests that the decrease in grant expenditure affected other grant recipients more than the voluntary sector.