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Regression progression

Posted on 04 August 2011 by Joe Bennett

Over the last few weeks we have been busy blogging about Trends in Surplus, the costs of generating voluntary income and the perceptions of donors on how much it costs to generate voluntary income

This week we have been analysing income patterns of charities with an income of over £500k over the recession period (2007-2009) and we have more interesting findings to report.

Over half of charities income is defined as ‘charitable activities’. This, among other things, includes the sale of goods and services. Charitable activities tends to be the key source of income for a number of charities; for some, it is the only source of income.  During these three years, income increased by 15.3%.  What’s more impressive is that, in real terms (adjusted for inflation), this equated to a rise of £3.7bn. This rise has meant that 57% of charities’ income is now from charitable activities.

During the same time period voluntary income, which is roughly a quarter of charities’ income, dropped 1.2% (-£162m) and trading went up by 17% (£521m), while income from investments dropped 11.3% (-£308m).

What’s encouraging though is that over this three year period, when the UK was experiencing tough financial times and in the middle of a recession, the total income to charities rose by 8.4% (£3.8bn) to £49bn. 

In our book 'A Lot of Give' we found that less affluent donors gave a higher % of their income compared to higher earners. Based on this information we’re keen to analyse the voluntary income in 2010, which is when the UK technically emerged from the recession, to see what impact this had.


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