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Income Concentration Trends and Competition in the Charitable Sector: An Analysis of Jewish Charities in England and Wales

  • Donatella Casale MashiahEmail author
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Abstract

Jewish charities are a subgroup of about two thousand, five hundred organizations, accounting for 1.5% of the total number of main charities in England and Wales. The increasing total income of general charities has prompted considerable debate about the perceived concentration of income and the perceived dominance of bigger charities over smaller ones. Meanwhile, the implications of competition for charitable behavior have remained underappreciated. Building on these assumptions and aiming to test how far the results of research carried out in the charitable sector in general apply to the Jewish charitable sector in particular, the research investigates the trends in concentration of income of a sample of 1301 Jewish charities operating between 1995 and 2015, using common measures of concentration to describe the competitiveness of the Jewish charitable sector in England and Wales. The findings suggest that the sector, in line with the wider UK charitable sector, experienced high levels of growth in terms of both aggregate total income and the number of charities operating, along with decreasing levels of income concentration. These findings allow one to hypothesize that, other things being constant, the increasing numbers of entrant charities may well have increased the size distribution of charities providing the same products or services, therefore exacerbating the competition for charitable funding in the Jewish charitable sector. This, in turn, on the one hand is likely to have exacerbated the competition for donations especially among charities pursuing similar causes, reducing the total amount of charitable money devoted to particular causes. On the other hand, the increasing numbers of charities providing the same products or services and the resultant increasing competition for funding may have impacted on the costs and efforts Jewish charities were able to divert to fundraising at the expense of resources that could be devoted, instead, to service provision.

Keywords

Jewish charities England and Wales Income concentration Competition 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I wish to thank Jonathan Boyd at JPR for his encouragement. My gratitude extends to Daniel Staetsky, David Clifford, and Margaret Harris for finding the time to read earlier versions of the manuscript and offering their advice. I also thank David Clifford for his help in merging the historical financial data. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 11th Workshop on the challenges of managing the third sector organized by the European Institute of Advanced Studies in Management and hosted by Queens University, Belfast. I am grateful for the comments received from the other participants. Finally, the final version of this manuscript has benefited from the valuable comments of three anonymous reviewers and from the flawless coordination of the editor, Harriet Hartman.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR)LondonUK

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