Tuesday, June 7, 2011
The Guardian reports that despite the Conservative Party government's "big society" initiative to involve more charities in providing public services, the number of registered charities actually declined by 1,600 over the past year. The reasons for the decline are unclear, although the Charity Commission noted that its merger unit has seen a 150 percent increase in cases since 2009. The shrinkage represents approximately one percent of registered charities, of which there are currently 162,346. Charity leaders also expressed concerns that the decline may only foreshadow a more substantial contraction of the charitable sector as government budget cuts begin to hit charity revenues and a long-term shrinkage in the number of UK households that donate to charities continues.