British Charities Spending $168.9 Million (U.S.) Daily

March 21, 2017       Andy Segedin      

Charities in England and Wales are spending £136.4 million per day supporting missions, according to a new report. The figure includes £12 million per day from medical research, hospital, and rehabilitation charities and another £11 million daily for housing organizations. The current conversion rate from U.S. dollar to British pound is just under $1.24, according to Bloomberg — placing the daily output at about $168.9 million per day.

ACEVO, the Charities Aid Foundation, the Institute of Fundraising and CharityComms recently published Charity Today – 2017, a report aimed at placing perspective on the sector’s role in Britain. There are an estimated 160,000 charitable organizations registered in England and Wales, according to the report, and 83 percent of Brits have benefited from a charitable service within the past year.

The report also highlights the bump in charities with £100 million in 2014, the number of organizations increasing from 33 to 40. The organizations represent more than 18 percent of sector’s collective income.

The report emphasizes the importance of individuals in sustaining the charitable sector. Individual giving in 2013-2014 accounted for £19.4 billion of the £43.8 billion that flowed into the sector while government grants stood at $2.8 billion, less than half of what they were a decade ago.

Volunteer hours, totaling 2.9 billion in 2014-2015, have also helped sustain the sector, 27 percent of Brits volunteering at least once per month. By comparison, the Corporation of National and Community Service estimated that just less than one-quarter Americans volunteered at all in 2015. Americans that year contributed 7.9 billion hours of volunteer service, but also outnumbered England and Wales in overall population by more than five-to-one, according to U.S. Census and Office of National Statistics data.

“Charities — both large and small — play a huge part in our national life, but one that’s often unnoticed or taken for granted,” said John Grounds, chairman of CharityComms’ board of trustees in a release. “This report shows just a fraction of the value charities and the people that work and volunteer for them bring to our communities. This goes far beyond monetary contribution to include substantial benefits to the health and wellbeing of our society.”
The report also discusses challenges facing British charities, challenges familiar to their American peers. An increased demand for public services brought on by an aging population, connecting to a Millennial generation that has been brought up in the digital age, reductions in income from government grants and contracts, pressure from increased scrutiny and regulation, and a move from traditional charitable models into areas such as social enterprise are all cited in the report as trends that will color the coming years.
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Subsector-specific data cited in the report includes:
<li> Health. Health charities had an income of just under £4 billion in 2013-2014, the latest year for which data is available. Approximately £4.4 billion is spent annually on medical research and hospital and rehabilitation services. Roughly 18 percent of individuals have received medical care from a charity during their lifetime;
<li> Youth services. Supporting children and young people is the most popular cause supported by individuals, according to the report. Charitable playgroups and nurseries had a combined income of £88.7 million in 2014 and spent £83.8 million. Parent teacher organizations drew £32.4 million in 2014 and spent £32.5 million; and,
<li> Suicide and self-harm prevention. The largest killer of Brits ages 20-34, someone from the U.K. dies from suicide every 90 minutes, making it a larger killer than traffic accidents, according to the report. About 20,000 volunteers helped respond to 5.4 million calls, texts, emails, and in-person request for assistance in 2015.
For the full report, visit: https://www.acevo.org.uk/news/charity-today-2017.
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  • 2013-2014
  • British Charities
  • Charity Spending
  • Office of National Statistics
  • U.S. Census