State of the Sector 2017

The State of the VCSE Sector 2017 report is the result of a Greater Manchester wide partnership, led by Salford CVS, building on previous research we conducted in Salford in 2010 and then across Greater Manchester in 2013. 

The key objective of the research was to provide a comprehensive overview of the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE*) Sector both within the city of Salford and Greater Manchester as a whole.

The research was undertaken by the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR) at Sheffield Hallam University on behalf of a partnership comprising 10GM** and GMCVO***

The research involved a web-based survey of organisations alongside specific focus groups that were hosted by Salford CVS and then analysed by CRESR.


The VCSE sector in Salford made 2.4 million interventions last year to benefit local citizens

The total income of the VCSE sector in Salford in 2014/15 was £165 million

The VCSE sector employs 5,300 people (3,500 full-time equivalent paid staff)

Staff from Salford VCSE organisations contribute £111.2 million to the local economy

We are many

The VCSE sector across Salford is sizeable and reaches across the diverse local population of Salford. We understand our local communities and can help drive people powered change, harness social action and bridge the gap between public services and the people they serve.

As a sector we can devise, develop and deliver solutions to some of the most challenging problems faced by Salford and within Greater Manchester. 52% of our survey respondents are already exploring how to adapt their services to meet changing need.

Volunteering is an asset

Whilst the headline figure is positive, with more Salford residents volunteering than ever before, the number of actual hours volunteered has decreased since 2013.

The potential reasons for this include:

The impact of austerity affecting people’s ability to volunteer, including benefit reforms which can limit the time available for claimants to volunteer.

The growth of employability focused placements.

The loss of funding for volunteer coordination posts. This has limited VCSE organisations’ ability to provide ongoing support and training for those that might volunteer the most hours but who also need the most 1-2-1 support.

An increase in the number of unpaid carers, where their caring responsibilities reduce their ability to volunteer.

Partnership working is Important

Partnership working is key to the VCSE sector. Our research shows that the majority of organisations are already in frequent contact or partnership with at least one other VCSE organisation.

Significantly, 28% of responding organisations are members of a VCSE led consortium.

Whilst relationships between partners across the sectors are generally positive in Salford, there is still work to do both in terms of further collaboration with the private sector and also with regards to engaging with the emerging Greater Manchester Devolution structures.

We are a key contributor to the local economy and employment

The VCSE sector in Salford plays a key role in the local economy, both as an employer but also in its work tackling poverty and inequalities. However, the inconsistent flow of income over the past three years has placed significant pressure on the sector at a time when demand is significantly increasing.

This picture is most stark in the sustainability of medium sized organisations (£100k to £1 million income p.a.). 71% of these organisations reported increasing their expenditure but only 41% had increased their income in the comparable period. Reasons fed back during the qualitative aspect of the research included rising staff costs and a growing demand on services, combined with significant funding cuts. 

Read it, use it, share it

Read the recommendations of the report and a summary of findings.

Read the report in full.

Download a copy of our 10 key facts.

*When we talk about the VCSE Sector we mean voluntary organisations, community groups, the community work of faith groups, and those social enterprises and community interest companies where there is a wider accountability to the public via a board of trustees or a membership and profits will be reinvested in their social purpose.

**10GM is a joint venture between Greater Manchester Voluntary Sector infrastructure organisations, including Salford CVS. It represents a combined membership of thousands of local voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations.

**GMCVO (Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation) is a voluntary sector support organisation covering the city-region of Greater Manchester.

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Salford CVS & Volunteer Centre
Registered address 
The Old Town Hall 
5 Irwell Place 
Salford, M30 0FN

Tel: 0161 787 7795 


Salford CVS is the city-wide infrastructure organisation for the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector; providing specialist information, advice, development support and opportunities for influence and collaboration.

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