Twenty-eight charities have been found by the Charity Commission to be making unauthorised payments to trustees. The cases were uncovered during standard evaluations by the Commission.
The regulator said it will not take action since the errors were due to a failure to understand rules on personal benefit.
"There's no evidence of deliberate abuse in any of these cases,
said Simon Gillespie, the commission's director of operations.
"Nevertheless, small mistakes in a large number of charities means that a substantial amount of charitable money will not find its way to beneficiaries across the UK."
In one instance, the commission discovered teachers had been paid to become trustees at a charity despite being unfamiliar with the charity's governing document. When the commission pointed out the error, they resigned.
There are more than one million trustees in England and Wales and a Commission report revealed only 55 per cent of new ones automatically receive a copy of their charity's governing document.