Pincer movement’ against charities’ income threatening ‘big society’ role


Alliance magazine


According to new research, donations to the UK’s 500 biggest charities fell by £70 million last year, raising doubts about their ability to play the role that prime minister David Cameron has earmarked for them in the government’s ‘big society’ vision. Charity Market Monitor 2011, published by the ESRC Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy at Cass Business School, found that voluntary donations slumped for the second year running by 1.1 per cent to £6.05 billion in 2009/10. According to Cathy Pharoah, who wrote the report: ‘The results … show that charities are subject to a pincer movement with their donated and investment incomes reaching a low point just as government spending cuts begin to hit their budgets.’ In a remark that is clearly meant for ministerial ears, she added: ‘The evidence suggests that giving cannot fully substitute for public spending, because donors have different priorities. If people want charities to play a stronger part in empowering local communities, then giving will need to grow and support a wider range of causes.’

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Tagged in: big society Cass Business School Cathy Pharoah Charity Market Monitor UK philanthropy

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