Key figures

  • In 2016/17, there were 166,854 voluntary organisations in the UK. The sector’s total income was £50.6bn. £22.9bn (45%) of this came from the public.
  • The voluntary sector workforce is approximately 870,000. 46% of these staff work in a social care setting. Another 13% work in education services and 5% work in health.
  • The voluntary sector spent £49bn in 2016/17.
  • NCVO estimates that charities will lose at least £4bn in income during a 12-week period.
  • An Institute of Fundraising (IoF) survey found that 52% of charities have already reduced existing or previous levels of service. A further 12% intend to reduce their services. 43% of charities predict an increase in demand for their services.
  • The charity Youth has conducted a survey, finding that 88% of youth charities expect to reduce their services. 17% said they may have to close permanently.
  • 44% of charities are already experiencing issues with cashflow according to the IoF survey, with a further 46% expecting to experience this in the near future. Almost half (45%) are unable to cover their payroll, and a third unable to pay their bills, rent, and mortgage. Furthermore, about one quarter (24%) hold no reserves.

This page was last reviewed for accuracy on 11 May 2020