This new study provides the first systematic account of the development and current scope and scale of the voluntary sector in the UK. Recently the introduction of the National Lottery has sparked a new wave of interest from the public, the government and the media in voluntary sector organisations which operate between the market and the state. Jeremy Kendall and Martin Knapp describe how this is just one of a number of factors that have focused unparalleled attention on the sector in Britain.The authors provide a clear definition of ‘voluntary organisations’ and outline the historical development and legal treatment of the sector as a whole. The current financial and human resource base of voluntary organisations are then analysed. The recent development of relations with the state are explained, and the voluntary sector’s contribution in the important fields of education, health and social care are described and analysed in detail. The book concludes with a discussion of the lessons this new research holds for theoretical approaches to the voluntary sector, and charts the major challenges that face many voluntary organisations and the sector as a whole as they move into the next millennium.