Civil society organisations exist to support a wide range of beneficiary groups, not just UK residents but people across the world. They also support many other causes that might directly or indirectly affect an individual’s life. This makes counting and describing the beneficiaries of civil society challenging.
- From records of organisations that publish beneficiary data, we can get some sense of the scope of engagement of the population with civil society.
- While some membership organisations (e.g. political parties, and trade unions) have seen a decline in their membership numbers for some time, others, including co-operatives, credit unions and some national membership organisations have experienced growth.
- Beneficiaries are not always members of an organisation, they can also be students (at universities), pupils (of independent schools), or residents (of housing associations).