Income of international development charities grew by 59% from 2006 to 2016

According to figures from Bond, the umbrella body for these charities, that is six times the rate of the sector as a whole

Aid work after the Indonesian tsunami (Photograph: Hotli Simanjuntak/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)
Aid work after the Indonesian tsunami (Photograph: Hotli Simanjuntak/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

The income of international development charities grew by 59 per cent over the 10 years to April 2016, six times the rate of the charity sector as a whole, according to new research by the international development umbrella body Bond.

In a report released today, Bond says that the total income of 305 of its more than 400 members had grown substantially, bringing in more than £3.8bn in 2015/16.

This meant growth was 59 per cent higher than in 2005/06 and far greater than for the charity sector as whole, which grew by 10 per cent over the same 10-year period.

International development funding therefore accounted for a twelfth of all charity sector funding in the UK in 2015/16, the report says.

But despite the positive figures for income growth, the report says that a third of the entire international development sector’s income went to just eight charities, all with incomes of more than £100m a year.

Another third went to 17 charities with annual incomes of between £40m and £100m, with the rest split between 280 organisations, according to the Bond report.

A third of all funding for the international development sector came from the government, the report highlights, which is equivalent to the proportion of the UK charity sector’s funding that comes from government sources.

Individual giving accounted for 31 per cent of the international development sector’s total income, the report says.

Graham MacKay, chief operating officer of Bond, said: "The safeguarding scandals, Brexit and GDPR post-dated this piece of research, so whether this picture is still accurate is yet to be seen.

"But what this report reminds us is that the altruistic missions of charities, their moral values and principled aims must be at the heart of any fundraising strategies, because these are the things that have led to a decade of public support – and public support and trust mustn’t be taken for granted."

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