What is civil society?

Civil society has been defined as the associational life that brings people together and allows civic values and skills to develop. The role of voluntary groups and organisations is central to this associational life, but civil society is about more than this, it is also defined by a set of values – the values associated […]

What is the income of civil society organisations?

Civil society organisations have an annual combined income of £181 billion. Voluntary organisations make up the largest part of civil society in financial terms, accounting for the largest share of income, assets and expenditure. Employee-owned businesses (with an estimated income of £30 billion), universities (£27.9 billion) and co-operatives (£26.4 billion) are the other major sectors […]

What assets do civil society organisations hold?

Civil society organisations control substantial assets with an estimated value of £286 billion. This figure largely consists of fixed assets such as property and investments. It will include some cash deposits, but excludes the assets of financial services industries (e.g. building societies and mutual insurance providers) which mostly comprise customer deposits. Our analysis of civil […]

How many people work in civil society?

Civil society organisations are major employers with an estimated 2.3 million people employed as paid staff. This is equivalent to 8% of the total UK workforce – more than the workforce of the NHS, the UK’s single largest employer (1.7 million people), and more than are employed in the construction industry (2.1 million). Within civil […]

How many people benefit from the work of civil society organisations?

Civil society organisations exist to support a wide range of beneficiary groups, not just UK residents but people across the world, as well as many other causes that might directly or indirectly have an effect on an individual’s life. This makes counting and describing the beneficiaries of civil society challenging. One could argue that the […]

How many volunteers are there?

Volunteers are a vital part of the work of civil society organisations. Find out more about volunteering Many civil society organisations across all sectors rely on the support of volunteers. There is considerable variety in who volunteers and how frequently, their motivation for volunteering, the roles they adopt, and the length of their involvement.

How has the number of civil society organisations changed?

Drawing together data from a variety of sources, we estimate there are around 900,000 civil society organisations in the UK. However, tracking the number of organisations over time is challenging – sources of information vary in quality and accuracy, categories and methodologies used by regulatory bodies are subject to change, and it is difficult to […]

What is the relationship between social enterprise and civil society?

Many of the civil society organisations we have described above identify themselves as social enterprises. A social enterprise is a business that trades for a social or environmental purpose and that reinvests its profits to further its social mission. Social enterprise can also be described as an activity: selling goods or services which also fulfil […]

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UK Civil Society Almanac 2016 /

Published: 11-04-2016