In this provocation paper, designed to spark discussion and debate across the sector, Dan Corry uses data to ask if the current distribution of charities around the country is what we would want in an ideal world and explores what government, funders and charities could do about it.
England is a place divided by geography. Politicians and policy makers debate what to do about our geographical inequalities, especially with respect to so called ‘left behind’ areas. Most of what they discuss is physical infrastructure (or the lack of it) and industrial policy.
But England also suffers geographical inequality in social capital and infrastructure. This research suggests that deprived areas in general, and many of the ‘left behind’ places in particular, suffer from a lack of charities, compounding their economic hardship with a lack of social capital.
We argue that this is not an accident and the distribution of charities could be influenced by the charity taxation regime, the way that the government funds and the way that independent funders and larger charities behave.
With presence of charities in an area is beneficial to the social fabric of that area as they are part of creating the ‘social capital’ needed for a place to be pleasant and desirable in which to live and prosper we argue that is imperative that government and funders take steps to encourage charities into these areas.