How is the NI VCSE sector funded? – NICVA’s State of the Sector research reveals the latest figures.

NICVA’s latest Income and Expenditure 2019 update has revealed that the total income received by the VCSE sector in Northern Ireland was £728,761,125.

This update also shows that almost 70% of the total income reported came from central government departments (incl. NDPB) with the largest proportion of central government funding (47.2%) coming from the Department for Communities. Donations from the general public accounted from nearly 22% of income whilst European Union funding accounted for 2%.

Based on an annual average from the 7 year funding programmes, annual EU funding approved to the VCSE sector  included £7,747,482 from the PEACE IV programme and £1,214,604 approved from the INTERREG VA. The European Social Fund Programme 2014-2020 approved an annual average of £8,750,050 to VCSE sector organisations in Northern Ireland. Whilst it was not possible to obtain exact data on the specific amounts of funding received by VCSE sector organisations from the INTERREG VB or INTERREG VC programmes, sector organisations also received a proportion of the funding available from these programme which totalled  an annual average of £77,936,479 from INTERREG VB and an annual average of £47,249,930 from INTERREG VC. The National Lottery Community Fund awarded £22,022,974 to the voluntary and community sector in Northern Ireland, an increase of £4,166,974 compared with the amount awarded in 2014-2015.

Funding source

Amount £

Percentage %

Central Government (incl. NDPB)



General public



The National Lottery Community Fund



European Union *



The National Lottery Heritage Fund



Local Government



Grant Making Trusts**






Table 8: Overall Funding to the Sector

Just over a third (33.9%) of VCSE sector organisations had an annual income of £10,000 or less and over 80% had an income of £250,000 or less.

The full update of Income and Expenditure 2019 can be accessed here

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