Community Organizations

Importance of charities, and voluntary and community organizations

imagesWhile we can depend on the government to fix many of the problems that exist in society, we cannot really rely on government for everything.

The United Kingdom has historically counted on charities and voluntary organizations to deliver many services at the grassroots level. They often fill in where the government is lacking or they provide added assistance that complements the work of governmental organisations.

Public spending is vulnerable to budgetary problems and to bickering between political parties. In many cases, the public may tire of paying the taxes and fees needed to support public programs.

While the government does play an important role in providing safety nets for the people, at the same time, it has always relied on assistance from charities and voluntary organisations. While government programmes require the use of paid personnel, community organisations typically leverage the goodwill of volunteers.

Many citizens have family traditions of donating to charities and voluntary organisations, and they may feel more comfortable using this approach rather than paying extra taxes to fund increased public spending.

In many cases, the government takes advantage of the existing infrastructure of these organisations by providing funding for them, rather than starting from scratch with their own programs.

charities.logoFor example, community organisations that provide employment and training opportunities receive nearly 70 per cent of their funding from government sources. Education, social service, housing and advocacy groups typically receive about 50 per cent of their funding from the government.

All of these organisations together employ about 1.6 million people across the UK, which is about 5.6 per cent of the entire workforce. More people who work in this sector have university degrees than in either the public or private sectors.