Charity Density and Social Need: A Longitudinal Perspective

Diarmuid Mcdonnell, John Mohan, Paul Norman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
377 Downloads (Pure)


The distribution of charitable organizations in an equitable and socially just manner is a long-standing policy concern in the United Kingdom and many other jurisdictions. Geographic variations are important as they are linked to potentially inequitable service provision and opportunities for participation in voluntary activities. This study links large-scale administrative data on charities registered in England and Wales with local authority-level measures of material deprivation for 5 U.K. census years (1971–2011). Count and spatial regression models show evidence of nonlinear associations between charity density and social need, and changes in the shape of this distribution over time. In general, charity density is highest in the least deprived local authorities but this varies across different types of organizations and census years. These results provide important new insights into the evolving relationship between charity density and social need, and demonstrate the value of adopting more advanced, longitudinal statistical approaches for studying this phenomenon.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1082-1104
Number of pages23
JournalNonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly
Issue number5
Early online date16 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: PopChange was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) under the Secondary Data Analysis Initiative (SDAI), Phase 2 (project ES/L014769/1). Finally, this research has benefited enormously from the generous support of the Leverhulme Trust through a Research Project Grant (ref: RPG-2017-102).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2020.


  • charity
  • material deprivation
  • nonprofit density
  • nonprofit formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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