UK Civil Society Almanac 2017 /
Finance Overview

Overall income and spending

Both the income and the spending of the voluntary sector increased in 2014/15, continuing the increases observed in the previous year which saw the first notable net income growth since the peak of 2007/08

  • After adjusting for inflation (RPIX), total income has increased by just under £1.2bn to £45.5bn. This increase is smaller than the one between 2012/13 and 2013/14, when income rose by £2.6bn (at current prices).
  • Total income continues to exceeds the previous ‘peak income’ seen in 2007/08 (£43.6bn), as it did for the first time last year.
  • From that 2007/08 peak level, income fell by around £1.6bn to £42.0bn in 2008/09 and then remained fairly stable until 2013/14 (apart from a slightly higher level in 2010/11, £42.8bn).
  • Voluntary sector spending stood at £43.3bn in 2014/15, an increase of £0.8bn from 2013/14. As for income, this is smaller than the increase between 2012/13 and 2013/14.
  • Spending is now clearly greater than the previous ‘peak spending’ level of £41.5bn in 2009/10. After 2009/10, spending decreased to a low of £40.4bn in 2011/12 and has since increased to its present level.
  • The difference between income and spending (just over £2.2bn in 2014/15) does not necessarily imply that the sector has surplus income: capital expenditure on equipment or buildings is spread over the life of the asset, whilst total income includes items such as legacies that are spent over multiple years. In 2014/15, spending was 95% of the sector’s overall income.
UK Voluntary sector total income and spending, 2000/01 to 2014/15 (£bn, 2014/15 prices)
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Income by source

  • More than half (56%) of the increase in the sector’s income over the last two years occurred in income from individuals; this increased by more than £2.1bn from 2012/13, up from £18.4bn to £19.8bn in 2013/14 and £20.6bn in 2014/15.
  • There were also increases in income from government (up from £14.6bn in 2012/13 to £15.1bn in 2013/14 and £15.3bn in 2014/15) and income from the voluntary sector (up from £3.4bn in 2012/13 to £3.5bn in 2013/14 and £4.0bn in 2014/15), accounting respectively for 17% and 16% of the increase in the sector’s income over the last two year.
Sources of voluntary income, 2000/01 to 2014/15 (£bn, 2014/15 prices)
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Spending by activity

  • In 2014/15, voluntary organisations spent £30.2bn on carrying out their charitable activities, £6.4bn on grant making, £5.9bn on generating funds and £0.9bn on governance.
  • Spending on charitable activities, the largest category, has remained largely stable in recent years, although there was a small increase between 2013/14 and 2014/15 of around £400m. Spending on grants has increased in the last two years.
Total spending on charitable activities and grants, 2000/01 to 2014/15 (£bn, 2014/2015 prices)
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Income and spending by size

Growth in income was predominantly seen in the largest organisations

  • The increase in total sector income occurred only for the largest organisations. The income of super-major organisations increased from £6.4bn in 2012/13 to £8.6bn in 2014/15. The income of major organisations also saw an increase from £13.6bn to £14.6bn over the same period.
  • Much of the increase was concentrated in organisations with an income around or over £100m. The ‘super-major’ size-band, separately identifying organisations with an income over £100m, was introduced last year in the Almanac 2016. The number of ‘super-major’ organisations increased from 33 in 2012/13 to 40 in 2013/14, and 42 in 2014/15, indicating that some ‘major’ organisations received sufficient growth in income to push them over the £100m threshold.
  • The total income of organisations in the smaller income bands (micro/small and medium) stayed the same or decreased very slightly between 2012/13 and 2014/15.
Total voluntary sector income by size of organisation, 2008/09 to 2014/15 (£bn, 2014/15 prices)
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Income and spending by sub-sector

  • By sector, income and spending was largest for social service organisations; in 2014/15 they had income of £10.1bn and spending of £9.7bn. This was nearly twice the level of income and spending for any other sub-sector.
  • The sub-sectors with the next highest income and spending levels were culture & recreation, health and international; they had incomes ranging from £5.5bn – £4.7bn and spending between £5.1bn – £4.5 bn. This pattern is similar to previous years.
Total income and spending by sub-sector, 2014/15 (£m, 2014/15 prices)
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UK Civil Society Almanac 2017 / The Voluntary Sector /Sector overview

Published: 08-05-2017

https://data.ncvo.org.uk/a/almanac17/finance-overview/