Voluntary organisations feel their ability to influence Government and the public is weakened by their dependency on others for funding, according to a survey from Regional Action and Involvement in the South East (Raise).
Organisations feel they would have more influence if funding was more sustainable. They also need a guaranteed flow of funding and more long-term funding.
But more than 60 per cent of respondents said the sector now has some power and influence. They attributed this to good contacts, a positive reputation and the ability to reach communities that other organisations cannot.
A Raise spokesman said: "Voluntary organisations need to be less self-critical and make more of their power and influence over local decision making."
The survey asked 126 voluntary and community organisations how much power and influence they had. Responses are still coming in and a full analysis of the information will be available shortly.