New charities are more likely to provide services than existing ones, Charity Commission finds

Regulator's latest registration bulletin says many new charities are helping people to cope with the economic downturn

The Charity Commission
The Charity Commission

New charities are far more likely to provide services than existing organisations, research from the Charity Commission has found.

The commission’s registration bulletin for 1 October 2011 to 31 March 2012 says 59 per cent of charities that registered in the period provided services, compared with 34 per cent of all charities on the register.

More than a third of new charities – 36 per cent – provided advocacy or information, compared with 21 per cent of all charities.

The publication says that the number of new charities fell slightly in the second half of 2011/12. It says that 2,615 new charities registered in the six months to 31 March 2012, compared with 3,003 in the previous six months.

The bulletin attributed the drop to a smaller number of formerly exempt charities joining the register as the commission completed its project to register them.

The number removed from the register in both periods was slightly higher than the number joining.

Figures drawn from the Charity Commission website show that new charity registration numbers in 2011/12 remained broadly flat compared with the previous year.

The bulletin says that many new charities helped people to deal with the problems of the economic downturn: 213 charities registered in the past six months dealt with unemployment, 87 helped socially excluded people and 12 provided food banks.

The bulletin says the number of charities linked to the armed forces "has grown hugely and that trend continues", with 371 in total on the register and 22 joining between October 2011 and March 2012 to help ex-forces personnel.

It says there had also been significant growth in charities registered as "street pastors", which are Christian groups that go out late at night in urban areas to help young people. Nineteen of the 83 on the register had joined in the final six months of 2011/12, the report says.

Sam Younger, chief executive of the Charity Commission, said: "This research report demonstrates the wide diversity of charities which are being established to meet current needs in the community." He said the register encouraged accountability by charities and so increased public confidence in them.

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