Fall in fundraising income continues, says Charity Market Monitor

Cancer Research UK stays top of the list, while animal welfare and armed forces charities buck the trend

Professor Cathy Pharoah, author of the report
Professor Cathy Pharoah, author of the report

The UK’s 500 largest fundraising charities suffered a £70m real-terms fall in fundraising income to about £6.06bn in 2009/10, according to research published today.

The 1.1 per cent decline marks the second successive year that fundraising income has fallen in real terms, according to Charity Market Monitor 2011.

"Fundraising income for charities doesn’t seem to have increased a lot in real terms over the past five years," said Professor Cathy Pharoah of Cass Business School and the author of the report. "There was a strong climb in this income up to 2007, and then it seems to have stalled."

Cancer Research UK remained top of the list with a fundraising income of £379m. The British Heart Foundation moved up one place to second, with £196m. Oxfam, on £182m, fell to third.

"This is the first time that Oxfam has been out of second place for a while," said Pharoah. "The change is largely down to the success of BHF shops."

The report, produced by Cass Business School and Caritas Data, looked at figures from charities’ accounts covering the year up to March 2010, which varied according to when the organisations set their financial year.

Many sectors saw falls in overall income, it says, but animal welfare charities in the sample experienced a 4.4 per cent growth in fundraising income to £426m, largely because of an increase in legacy income from £217m to £230m. Charities for current and former members of the armed forces saw a 6.2 per cent growth in fundraising income.

Pharoah said charities were beginning to see the effect of a fall in income from government contracts.

"This was a stable source for charities," she said. "Fundraising income is more volatile, but we’ll begin to see changes come through there."

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