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The financial position of English voluntary organisations: relationships between subjective perceptions and financial realities

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The financial position of English social policy charities has received much attention, with a particular focus on the difficulties that small- and medium-sized organisations are experiencing. However, in this article we show that the evidence base has a number of limitations. We then demonstrate, analysing data from a survey of more than 1,000 charities, that organisational size, per se, is only one dimension of the problem: perceptions that the operating and financial environment is challenging are related to other organisational characteristics. We then add to the survey data indicators of financial vulnerability to investigate whether there is a relationship between perception (responses to questions about the resources available to charities) and financial reality (the recent financial history of these charities). Somewhat reassuringly, however, we demonstrate that there is a degree of consistency between the perceptions that organisations report and we discuss the implications of the findings.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Email: [email protected] 2: Email: [email protected] 3: Email: [email protected] 4: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: November 2018

This article was made available online on December 7, 2018 as a Fast Track article with title: "The financial position of English voluntary organisations: relationships between subjective perceptions and financial realities".

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  • Voluntary Sector Review publishes high-quality, peer-reviewed, accessible papers on third sector research, policy and practice. It is an invaluable cutting-edge resource for all those researching or working in the fast-growing voluntary, community and wider third sectors.

    The journal covers the full range of issues relevant to voluntary sector studies, including: definitional and theoretical debates; management and organisational development; financial and human resources; philanthropy; volunteering and employment; regulation and charity law; service delivery; civic engagement; industry and sub-sector dimensions; relations with other sectors; social enterprise; evaluation and impact. Voluntary Sector Review covers voluntary sector studies from a variety of disciplines, including sociology, social policy, politics, psychology, economics, business studies, social anthropology, philosophy and ethics. The journal includes work from the UK and Europe, and beyond, where cross-national comparisons are illuminating. With dedicated expert policy and practice sections, Voluntary Sector Review also provides an essential forum for the exchange of ideas and new thinking.

    Rigorous and stimulating, Voluntary Sector Review is an indispensable tool for everyone who values empirically-grounded, theoretically-informed and policy-relevant reviews of the future direction of the voluntary sector.

    Editors: Nick Acheson (Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland), Bernard Harris (University of Strathclyde, UK), Rob Macmillan, (University of Birmingham, UK)

    The journal is published in association with the Voluntary Sector Studies Network (VSSN) and a print copy of the journal is a membership benefit.

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