Below are a few of the facts that the directory of social change (dsc) has recently published about charities, which you mind find interesting and perhaps surprising. 

  1. Charities are trusted 

Despite some recent bad press, Non-Governmental Organisations including charities, are the most trusted institutions; rated above business, government and media in the UK. This is reflected by the amount of British people who donate to, volunteer for and use the services of charities compared to other countries. Donations, gifts, the purchase of goods and services provided, and the support given to fundraising activities by the British public, provides a massive 46% of all charity income.  

  1. Charities get relatively little money from government

Income from government grants has massively decreased over the last decade - from £6bn to just £3.8bn. Today, Charities only get 5% of the government’s spend on grants and subsidies. 95% goes elsewhere, mostly to the private sector.

  1. Charities answer to almost everybody

Charities have a dedicated regulator and must comply with complex and long-standing charity law. Charities must publish annual reports and accounts that are available online.

Charities also have to answer to their auditors, various regulators, the media, donors, funders, volunteers, beneficiaries, employees, trustees, local MPs, the local authority and the communities in which they operate.

  1. Charities spend your donation on the cause

All the money donated to charities goes to support ‘the cause’, otherwise, it’s illegal. Charities, by law, must spend all income and donations on their charitable mission, which is set out in their legal documents. Spending ‘on the cause’ legitimately includes raising funds, the costs of running the organisation, and employing people to run the charity effectively. Over 70% of charities have less than £100,000 annual income. But running these small charities isn’t free: they still need money to pay for things like a room or an office, materials, critical staff, or to train volunteers.

  1. Charities are governed by volunteers

Literally millions of volunteers run UK charities – for free. These people are charity trustees, and they’re legally accountable for the charity. Without them, charities can’t function.

  1. There aren’t too many charities

In fact, we need more. More charities mean more volunteers, more civic responsibility, more choice for donors, volunteers and beneficiaries.

I hope this helps you appreciate how much we need your help and support in, what is, a particularly difficult climate for small charities.

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