The Fundraising Regulator’s income increased by 28 per cent in 2017/18, the latest figures show.
The regulator’s accounts for the year to 31 March, published this week, show it had an income of almost £2m in 2017/18, up from slightly more than £1.5m in 2016/17.
The vast majority of its income came from the voluntary levy charged on charities spending more than £100,000 a year on fundraising.
Of the regulator’s income, £1.1m came from levy payments for its second year, which ran from 1 September 2017 to 31 August 2018, and £871,000 came from late payments or deferrals of income from levy year one.
Another £62,000 came from smaller charities and commercial organisations registered with the regulator but not eligible to pay the levy.
The accounts acknowledge that the regulator’s total income remained below the £2m to £2.4m that a cross-party review recommended the regulator needed to complete its tasks effectively.
It says this restricted the watchdog’s ability "to undertake more proactive activity". But it adds: "The position is improving and we have been able to add to reserves across the year. The regulator needs to improve and stabilise its funding stream from the levy and registration payments in 2018/19 so that it can carry out its regulatory tasks effectively."
The accounts also show that, after spending £1.8m across the year, the regulator achieved a cash surplus of £203,000, which has been added to the reserves.
The accounts say the regulator plans to change its financial year to bring it in line with the levy year, meaning its accounting period will now begin at the start of September.
"By changing the accounting year period there will be better alignment of income with the accounting period," the accounts say.
To do this, the regulator has put out a set of accounts covering the period between 1 April and 31 August 2018, which show an income of £922,000 and spending of £877,000.
Gerald Oppenheim, chief executive of the regulator, said the two sets of accounts "show the progress we’ve made" since the regulator was founded in 2016.
In the introduction to the year-long 2017/18 accounts, he said: "Although we have developed and will continue to build good working relations with the larger charities and the large majority of umbrella bodies in the sector, we recognise that awareness of the role of the Fundraising Regulator amongst smaller charities is patchy."
He said raising awareness would now be a priority for the regulator.