As if charities haven’t got enough to worry about, leaving the European Union would cost the UK sector nearly £220m a year in lost funding, according to figures released by the Britain Stronger in Europe campaign.
The research, based on data from the EU’s Financial Transparency system, reveals that 249 charities received £217m from the EU in 2014, the most recent year for which there are figures.
Oxfam GB would be hardest hit, as it received almost £39m in 2014, while the International Rescue Committee UK got nearly £23m.
Meanwhile. the British Museum, ActionAid, Plan International, World Vision UK, Mercy Corps Scotland, International Medical Corps UK, the Save the Children Fund and the British Council Royal Charter all received between £20m and £4m from the EU in 2014 and many other smaller charities also benefitted.
Britain Stronger in Europe board member and Green MP Caroline Lucas said: “A huge number of charities in Britain benefit every year from much needed funding from the European Union. The money they receive helps people in need, both in Britain and across the world.
“Outside of the EU, there is absolutely no guarantee that this vital contribution to British charitable work could or would be continued.”
Sir Stephen Bubb, chair of Social Investment Business, who is head of the charity chief executives body Acevo, added: “British charities benefit hugely from our membership of the EU. Not only does it help us work with partners across the continent, fostering civil society, but some of Britain’s best-known charities receive significant funding to carry out their vital work.”
The findings coincide with a fresh warning from the chairman of the Charity Commission, William Shawcross, against aggresive marketing practices, including the use of telemarketing, direct mail and face-to-face fundraising.
During a public meeting in Southampton today, the regulator will urge charities to stop “hounding” donors.
According to a report in The Sunday Times, Shawcross will call on the sector to review its fundraising activites, saying: “It cannot be right for vulnerable people, older people, generous people, to be hounded on the telephone, through the letterbox or in the street.”
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