Fewer charities experienced a decline in income of more than 25 per cent in the last financial year than in the previous 12 months, according to figures released by the Third Sector Research Centre.
The centre has analysed information submitted to the Charity Commission by about 80,000 charities since the 1990s.
It shows that the number of charities reporting 25 per cent year-on-year income reductions hovered at about 17 to 18 per cent from 2000 until the economic downturn in 2008.
It then increased to 24 per cent in 2009/10, but the latest figures for the financial year ending in March 2011 show it had fallen back to 22 per cent.
Professor John Mohan, deputy director of the centre, said the financial picture for charities appeared to have improved in 2010/11 compared with 2009/10, but remained "somewhat worse than in the decade that preceded it".
The figures do not take into account the severe public spending cuts that affected many charities at the beginning of the current financial year.
Mohan said it was possible these cuts would not have a dramatic effect on the next set of figures because fewer than 40 per cent of voluntary organisations received public funding.