Over 25,000 organisations spend money on making grants, representing 17% of the sector
- We identify money spent on grants from the title of the item in the organisation’s account.
- Changing in accounting regulations have not impacted on the identification of grant making in the expenditure section of the account. However, organisations sometimes change how they document grant making in their accounts which can lead to some fluctuation in the data.
- Over 25,000 organisations spent money on making grants in 2015/16, representing 17% of the total number of organisations in the sector. Just over half of those organisations were grant-making foundations.
The amount spent on grant making has remained stable since last year
- The amount spent on grants fluctuates with economic cycles.
- Between 2014/15 and 2015/16, the amount spent on grant making remained stable, but decreased by one percentage point, from 15% to 14%, as a proportion of expenditure.
The ten largest grant-makers account for 30% of all grants made
|Voluntary organisation name||Amount spent on grants (£m)|
|Cancer Research UK||279|
|The Save the Children Fund||259.7|
|Save the Children International||107.3|
|British Heart Foundation||104|
|The Children's Investment Fund Foundation (UK)||94.4|
|The United Kingdom Committee for UNICEF||63.1|
|The Monument Trust||61.3|
Super-major organisations spend the most on grants, both in monetary terms and as a proportion of their spending
- The largest organisations are the ones that spent the most on grants in 2015/16, with super-major organisations spending over £2.1bn and major organisations spending £1.9bn.
- 12% of the money spent by organisations with an income below £100m is spent on grants compared to 22% by super-major organisations.
- The higher proportion of expenditure dedicated to grants by super-major organisations is due to the fact that almost half of them (47%) spend money making grants.
Aside from grant-making foundations, organisations in the research and international subsectors spend the most on grants as a proportion of total spending
- Unsurprisingly, grant-making foundations are the organisations that spend the most on grants as a proportion of their total spending (54%), followed by research (39%) and international organisations (23%).
- Some subsectors represent a small proportion of the total amount spent in the voluntary sector, but are important grant-makers. For example, Parent Teacher Associations and Village Halls together account for less than 1% of the sector’s spending on grants, but spend respectively 16% and 12% of their spending on grants.
- Conversely, social services spending on grants represent 8% of the total spending on grants in the sector but it represents only 6% of the subsector’s spending.
Playgroups and nurseries, law and advocacy, development and culture and recreation organisations received more than twice as much money from government grants than from the voluntary sector grants
- The chart below shows the proportion of the income received in the form of grants from the government and from the voluntary sector as a proportion of the total income by subsector.
- The voluntary sector received £3.3bn in grants from government and a similar amount from voluntary organisations in 2015/16.
- The sector received less grant money than the money spent on grants (£6.5bn) because some grants from the sector are awarded to non-registered groups and organisations or charities that are excluded from the Almanac general charities definition.
- The amount awarded in government grants to playgroups and nurseries was four times the amount awarded by voluntary organisations.
- In the culture and recreation, development and law and advocacy subsectors the amount awarded in government grants was twice the amount awarded by voluntary organisations.
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