Annual Survey of Charities and Community Groups 2023

Out of difficulties grow miracles

The state of the voluntary sector in the midst of a cost of living crisis

Tree growing out of a desert with the wording Out of difficulties grow miracles. The state of the sector in the midst of a cost of living crisis. With the Support Cambridgeshire logo and 2023 state of the sector survey as a strapline

Support Cambridgeshire have completed their annual survey to find out about the state of the voluntary sector in Cambridgeshire, and this year we have also worked with a data scientist to analyse what national data from the Charity Commission and 360 Giving tells us about local charities.

We know that local charities and community groups have continued to deliver vital support and services through the pandemic and now through the cost of living crisis, but this survey points to the toll this is taking on staff and volunteers. Less organisations were optimistic that this year would be better than 2022 for them compared to 12 months ago. Groups are struggling to find the funds and volunteers they need to meet the demands put on them. Across the county the amount of money going into the sector and the numbers of groups available to offer support is uneven.

We can not take our local charities and community groups for granted. The work they do is still #NeverMoreNeeded. We know that so many people rely on, or benefit from, their work.  The partners in Support Cambridgeshire will continue to offer all the help and advice they can to enable our local voluntary sector to thrive and prosper, but we need others to join in this effort or we will see more groups closing and more services disappearing.

Download the main survey report here.

Read the blog that highlights some key points here

This year we have worked with David Kane of Kane Data to analyse some of the data that is available from national datasets. The report is based on analysis of data from the Charity Commission for England and Wales, supplemented with additional data including:

We worked to exclude those charities that were obviously mistakenly connected with the county as well as charities that mainly worked nationally or internationally but are based in the county. We also excluded independent schools and the university colleges.

This report helps us understand the numbers and sizes of charities and how they are spread across the county, it also gives us an indication of the grants that come into the sector from those grant funders that publish their data on the 360m giving platform.

Read the report from Kane Data here

We will be writing some blogs to explore this research and these will be availbale here once they are completed.