The Voluntary and Community Sector in Hampshire
Community Action Hampshire works to provide infrastructure support to the voluntary and community sector in Hampshire.
Across Hampshire there are currently 4,284  registered charities and over 7,000 other voluntary/community groups, providing services to thousands of people.
With an increased number of organisations competing for a smaller funding ‘pot’ it is often impossible for organisations to invest sufficient resources in their infrastructure. CAH strengthens the sector in Hampshire through its provision of services to underpin their valuable work.
Registered charities in Hampshire
Defining the voluntary sector
“Because of its remarkable diversity, defining the voluntary sector has never been easy and there is no universally agreed definition of the voluntary sector in the UK. Although the term ‘voluntary and community sector’ (VCS) has been increasingly used, it has been criticised by some as being too broad and by others as too narrow. The inception of the Office of the Third Sector has increased usage of ‘third sector’, though again there is little consensus over an operational definition, let alone whether or not we are ‘the third sector’” 
Growth in the voluntary sector
The UK voluntary sector as a whole continues to grow, with the number of ‘general charities’ increasing from 98,000  in 1991 to 164,500 in 2005. The sector’s income is also rising, with total income rising from £10.46 billion in 2003/04, to £27.7 billion in 2004/05.
Incomes falling for all but the larger charities
However, this masks the reality that incomes for all but the largest charities are falling. Between 2003/04 and 2004/05, average incomes for these smaller charities fell by £678 million. Charities with an income of under £10K were worst affected, losing on average 10.7% of their income. Income is also highly volatile, making financial planning extremely challenging.
Employment in the sector
At the same time, the number of paid employees continues to grow, with 611,000 people employed in the sector in 2005. This now equates to 2.2% of the overall paid workforce. Part time working is still a distinctive feature of the voluntary and community sector, with 39% of the workforce employed on a part time basis.
Formal volunteering is increasing slowly, and the 2005 Home Office Citizenship Survey estimates that 44% of the population of England and Wales volunteered formally at least once in the last 12 months. It is estimated that 1.2 million full-time UK workers would be needed to replace formal volunteers, at a cost of approximately £27.5 billion.
 Figures taken from the Charity Commission website.
 “The UK Voluntary Sector Almanac.
 The State of the Sector 2007” NCVO.
This page was last updated by Kirsty Rowlinson on 28 October 2009.