26 November 2012
Small and medium sized charities reported deficits of more than
£300m in 2011, compared with an overall surplus of £325m in 2007 –
according to an analysis of the latest accounts.
Research by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), which promotes
charitable giving and provides financial services and social
finance to not-for-profit organisations, found losses among small
and medium sized charities have spiralled since 2007.
CAF's analysis of accounts lodged with the Charity Commission
found that charities of all types with incomes of up to £1m a year
reported total deficits of £306m in their financial year ending in
2011, compared with an overall surplus of £325m in the 2007
The situation reported in 2011 had also markedly deteriorated
from 2010, when small and medium sized charities reported an
overall loss of only £20m.
Small and medium sized charities make up the majority of the
nation’s charities – representing more than 130,000 of Britain’s
162,831 registered charities.
The CAF research found that:
- Registered charities with incomes of less than £10,000 reported
total losses of £111m in 2011, up from reported losses of £19m in
- Charities with incomes between £10,000 and £100,000 reported
total losses of £113m in 2011, compared with a surplus of £33m in
- Charities with incomes between £100,000 and £1m reported total
losses of £83m in 2011 compared with a reported aggregate surplus
of £311m in 2007.
This reduction in resources comes at a time when many charities
face reductions in support from the public purse, reductions in
giving and low income from any reserves or investments they
Among those charities reporting losses are those that work in
education, poverty relief, sport and health. Some charities are
being forced to cut services and cut staff numbers, where they
Last week, CAF and the National Council for Voluntary
Organisations launched the Back Britain's
Charities campaign to encourage government, businesses and
individuals to get behind charities.
The campaign is calling for:
- People to support charities through regular giving, regardless
of how much time or money they can give.
- The Government to modernise and promote Gift Aid and payroll
giving so donations go further.
- The Government to ensure that public bodies do not cut funding
for charities disproportionately when making spending
- Business to support charities either through donations, or
through practical means.
- Charities to work together with the Government to modernise and
improve fundraising and enhance their impact, so that every pound
given goes further towards helping beneficiaries.
John Low, Chief Executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said:
“The deepening losses being sustained by our nation’s small and
medium sized charities are a great cause for concern.
“Many small and medium sized charities doing vital work in our
communities are facing falling incomes at the very time that people
are increasingly looking for their support.
“The vast majority of our charities are relatively small and do
amazing work. But many are having to dip into their reserves to
keep going, cut back on the work they do and lay off staff if they
“The situation is so worrying that we need the Government,
business and the public to get behind Britain’s charities – so that
they can survive and carry on their important work in these tough
For more information please contact a member of our media team.