Support Cambridgeshire, the partnership between Cambridge CVS and Hunts Forum of Voluntary Organisations, has repeated 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. Still, this survey points to the toll this is taking on staff and volunteers. Fewer organisations were optimistic that this year would be better than 2022 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 number 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 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. Still, we need others to join in this effort, or we will see more groups closing and more services disappearing.
This year we have worked with David Kane of Kane Data to analyse some of the available data from national datasets, thanks to some funding from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough ICS, through the VCSE Health Allience. The report is based on an analysis of data from the Charity Commission for England and Wales, supplemented with additional data including:
- Geographic data, including postcode lookups, from the Office for National Statistics
- Population data from Office for National Statistics
- Inflation data (using the RPIX measure) from Office for National Statistics
- Charity Classification from charityclassification.org.uk
- Data from grantmakers was published using the 360Giving Data Standard.
We worked to exclude those charities that were mistakenly connected with the county and charities that mainly worked nationally or internationally but are based in the county. We also excluded independent schools and 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.