Charities experience growth but uncertainty looms

Britain's largest charities enjoyed healthy growth of 9.5 per cent in voluntary income last year, according to figures published by the Institute of Fundraising.

The institute's Fundratios Summary report for 2006/07, which is based on the fundraising income and spending of 28 charities - including the British Heart Foundation, Amnesty International UK and the National Trust - found all major fundraising activities grew.

Committed giving, including regular payments and membership fees, rose by 12.6 per cent. Legacy income went up by 8.8 per cent and charity shops sales grew by 10.9 per cent.

But the results contrast with the annual UK Giving report by the Charities Aid Foundation and the NCVO, which found a 3 percentage-point drop in the level of donations during 2006/07.

Cathy Pharoah, visiting professor of charity funding at Cass Business school, said: "I don't think the uncertainty about the economy has hit giving yet - but it will this year. The experience of big charities is important evidence."

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