Public Service Provision by Charities

little girl on the playground

Public Service Provision by Charities

Our new free report looks into what the public think of charities providing public services for government, and whether they are put off from giving or supporting charities who receives government funding. Here are some of the highlights. Download the report below to explore it in more detail.

The public are increasingly unsure about the idea of further public services being farmed out to the charity sector. However, on the whole the principle of charities providing some services in exchange for Government funding is still acceptable to most, and seems to make very little difference to an individual’s likelihood to donate to a charity.

The public have become less enthusiastic about charities taking a role in service provision since the Conservatives came to power. The proportion who want charities to play a greater role in public services has fallen from over half (56%) to only 41% since 2009.

The public would prefer charities to provide public services instead of private companies. Charities are seen as the most acceptable providers of public services for the Government. 53% think that it is acceptable for charities to provide services in exchange for Government funding, compared to only 35% for private companies in the UK. More think that is unacceptable (34%) than acceptable (22%) for foreign companies to provide public services.

Providing services for Government does not put off potential donors from supporting a charity. Two thirds (65%) of the public say that knowing that a charity receives both public and government funding for the services it provides would make no difference to their likelihood to support, and only 13% say that it makes them less likely to support.

For almost all sectors, the public think that the Government should be providing a greater proportion of funding – except overseas aid. The exception is overseas aid and development, which is seen to receive more funding than any other sector, but to deserve less than any other sector.

Submitted by Maureen Spinney (not verified) on 16 Aug 2018


I would want to see more supervision of charities. Often trustees have little understanding of the task and think it’s ok to just do “the best they can”. The idea you can replace trained and qualified social workers with ‘do gooders’ is just barmy.

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.