Results of volunteer centre annual survey

Volunteer centres are struggling to pull in funding, according to NCVO, with 63 percent of those that responded to an annual survey reporting a fall in income last year.

Forty percent reported that the drop in income was 25 percent or more. Just over a quarter saw an increase in funding in 2011/12 compared to the previous year and 11 percent saw their income stay within one percent of the 2010/11 levels, according to NCVO’s Annual Return for Volunteer Centres.

The average income for volunteer centres has also fallen to the lowest point since 2008/09. The median average income was £52,500, a fall of £3,932 from the previous year.

The report shows that the number of centres receiving income from central government sources has dropped from almost a quarter in 2010/11 to seven percent in 2011/12. Central government income now accounts for two percent of the combined income of all respondents, compared to 10 percent last year.

Income from local government is still the most prevalent income source, with 83 percent of centres receiving income from this source, although this is slightly down on last year when it was 89 percent.

The percentage receiving income from fees or services also fell from 43 percent in 2010/11 to 38 percent in 2011/12, but this still higher than in 2009/10.

NCVO, which is working with Nesta on a programme to support piloting innovative ideas in volunteer centres, sent the online survey to 261 volunteer centres in late 2012 and received responses from 160, 107 of whom completed last year’s survey. The research was previously carried out by Volunteering England, which merged with NCVO last year.