Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation

Charitable resources are unevenly distributed across the country, says TSRC

Strong evidence of an uneven distribution of charitable resources between communities is reported in a new paper from the Third Sector Research Centre (TSRC).
Professor John Mohan, who leads TSRC’s quantitative work at the University of Southampton, says: “Research on registered third sector organisations operating at neighbourhood scale, for example, shows that there are fewer organisations per head in more deprived areas.
"Those organisations operating in more deprived areas are also more likely to be reliant on public funding. Thus the areas with fewest registered third sector organisations are also likely to be in areas most at risk from funding reductions".
TSRC’s paper also explored volunteering. The research showed most people do some combination of volunteering, giving money, or participating in community organisations, even if they don’t do so at every stage of their lives.
However, there are a small number of people, termed the ‘civic core’, who contribute the majority of time and money to voluntary organisations. For example, 31 per cent of the population provides around 87 per cent of hours of unpaid help, 79 per cent of money donated to charities, and 70 per cent of civic participation.
This ‘civic core’ is more likely to be middle-aged, have higher education qualifications, own their house, and have lived in the same neighbourhood for over 10 years. Crucially, those groups who are more active tend to be living in the most prosperous communities rather than the most deprived.
Professor Mohan says: “This calls for creative thought about how we match community needs with people who have the time and resources to contribute voluntary effort.”
Mapping the Big Society, working paper 62, can be downloaded from the link below.