- This story was corrected on 26 April 2017; please see final paragraph
Analysis by Third Sector of the charity accounts data released by the commission in March 2017 revealed the identity of the top 10 legacy earners in the sector.
At £177.8m, CRUK’s legacy income for its last reported financial year was significantly higher than that of the second-highest earner on the list, the RNLI, on £118.4m.
There was another sizeable drop to the charity in third place, the British Heart Foundation, which recorded legacy income of £67m in its most recent accounts.
The data analysed by Third Sector included all charities in England and Wales with annual income of more than £500,000.
Third Sector understands that this probably happened because the value of estates turned out to be less than the charities originally thought, but the expected amount had already been included in previous years’ reports, so the difference was deducted from the current report to more accurately reflect the charity’s financial position.
Maria King, head of legacy administration at CRUK, said: "What many people don’t realise is that gifts left in wills fund a third of our research. Our work to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer has saved millions of lives, which why it is so important that people continue supporting us in this way to enable us to keep up the pace of our work in the future and beat cancer sooner."
Meenaxi Mawji, head of legacy management at the BHF, said the charity was extremely grateful for the legacy donations it had received.
"Almost half of our life-saving research is powered through gifts left to us in wills, and many of our dedicated supporters have remembered the BHF in this special way," she said.
"We rely on these donations to fund a world-leading research programme. Without the enormous generosity of supporters who choose to leave this type of gift, we simply wouldn’t be able to continue this vital work."
The top 10
Cancer Research UK £177,816,659
British Heart Foundation £67,000,000
Macmillan Cancer Support £63,850,000
Salvation Army £51,974,000
National Trust £51,556,000
Guide Dogs £44,300,000
- The story was corrected because the data used for the original story only included charities that had filed accounts for 2016, meaning those whose most recent accounts were filed in 2015 had been excluded.