Global Development Institute Blog

For the few years, Dan Brockington of the Sheffield Institute for International Development and Nicola Banks of GDI, have been engaged on an epic project to map UK NGOs focused on development.

The database they have compiled on the 900 organisations that spend over £10,000 a year is a fascinating treasure trove. A scan of the day to day media coverage of development suggests a sector on the ropes, but this research shows the continuing rude health of NGOs in the UK.

The report, which tracked the finances and activities of 898 development NGOs based in England, Wales and Scotland, found:

  • The international development sector is thriving, growing and vibrant. It is earning more money and new organisations are coming into being all the time, with 250 new organisations being established since 2005.
  • The sector is highly unequal in terms of its allocation of resources, with eight per cent of organisations in the survey controlling 88 per cent of expenditure.
  • The main source of the sector’s growth and development is income from the public, accounting for 40 per cent of all income. This is the single most important source of funding and has been increasing in absolute terms.
  • Investment in fundraising can produce strong returns and is required if charities are to raise the particularly large sums that they need for specific projects.

We caught up with Dan and Nicola to quiz them about their findings.

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Note: This article gives the views of the author/academic featured and does not represent the views of the Global Development Institute as a whole


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