Kevin Wright, 49, from Amington, near Tamworth in Staffordshire, was last month found guilty of two counts of fraud by false representation and eight of theft, all taking place between May 2005 and December 2008.
The court heard that Wright raised almost £1m in donations for several funds between May 2005 and December 2008, but took £800,000 for his own purposes.
This included £171,500 from the Bobby Wright Cancer Fighting Fund, set up to raise money for treatment for his son Bobby, who survived after being diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer, at the age of three in 2005. Donations to the fund included £60,000 from the charities Caudwell Children and the Janet Nash Charitable Settlement.
When it was decided that Bobby no longer needed treatment, Wright started raising funds for other children with cancer.
Judge Gregory Dickinson, sentencing, said these appeals were "fraudulent from the outset". He said that most of the money went on running the appeals and to fund Wright's lifestyle. "You abused the generosity of the public," he said. "Your actions risked damaging the confidence in the system of charitable giving."
A spokeswoman said the commission had been made aware of possible links between Wright and the charity prior to his conviction but the police and the Crown Prosecution Service had asked it not to contact the charity so that the case against Wright was not jeopardised.