Skip to content

Third Sector

As set out on the main page, the policy drivers for the third sector work-strand are that:

  • the public service market has opened up over the past few decades, with private and third sector organisations playing an increasing role in delivery

  • information on the role of the third sector in public service delivery has been lacking

  • a move towards outcome-based commissioning may help more third sector organisations enter the public service market

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) (one of the largest umbrella groups for the voluntary sector in England) has been contracted to carry out research into the role of the third sector in the delivery of public services. They will be providing analysis estimating the level of central and local government funding to the third sector, including analysis of sub-sectors such as health and social care.

The research will use available data sources such as the Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR, a register maintained by the Office for National Statistics) and the GuideStar Data Services database, based on Charity Commission records. The work will examine, for example, which government departments have most financial engagement with the third sector and, conversely, which departments the sector is most dependent on for funding.

NCVO will also provide the third sector perspective and insight into the other work-strands and undertake a feasibility study aiming to improve the coverage and classification of the third sector in the IDBR.

This section contains reports from NCVO which have been produced as part of the MOPSU project. Overviews of the reports are provided below.

Estimates of Government Funding to the Third Sector: Experimental Statistics (published September 2007) (293.3 Kb Pdf)

This report looks at government funding to third sector organisations to obtain a clearer picture of where the third sector is most involved in public service delivery. Although NCVO’s almanac series has tracked income to the third sector since 1995, there have been few studies looking in more depth at which statutory sources (for example, central government departments, local authorities, European funds) are responsible for the funding, and which parts of the third sector the government is funding.

This study looks at the income that charities report receiving from statutory sources, rather than reported government expenditure figures. This is the first time in the UK that a comprehensive analysis of government funding to the third sector has been undertaken from the point of view of the third sector organisations themselves.

Estimates of Government Funding to the Third Sector: Experimental Statistics 2008 (353.1 Kb Pdf) - hyperlink

This reports follows on from the 2007 report and includes additional findings, on income of voluntary sector organisations from government sources, based on a classification of charities.

MOPSU Third Sector Final Report (455.6 Kb Pdf)

This report is the final report from NCVO for the MOPSU project. The report builds on the 2007 and 2008 reports ‘Estimates of Government Funding to the Third Sector: Experimental Statistics’ previously produced by the NCVO as part of this project. The 2007 report looked at funding to the sector as a whole by government department, and the 2008 report included additional findings based on a classification of charities. This report updates the findings from these reports with the latest available data from the financial year 2007/08 (although some data are only available for the 2006/07 financial year), and where appropriate describes trends over time.

IDBR Feasibility Study Report (67.7 Kb Pdf)

This reports sets out the findings of a feasibility study to systematically explore classification and coverage of third sector organisations on the Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR).

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
© Crown Copyright applies unless otherwise stated.