YouGov’s 2014 CharityIndex, which is compiled using data on the public’s perception of charities on a daily basis, ranked Cancer Research UK in second place, up from third, and the armed forces charity Help for Heroes in third, down from second.
Researchers interviewed more than 100 people each day on subjects such as the charities they have discussed with friends and family and the charities they have heard of.
The results are compiled to generate "buzz scores" about the public's perception of an organisation, including measuring whether people have heard good or bad news about a charity in the previous two weeks.
The rankings were compiled using score averages from the whole of 2014.
Across the YouGov list, only the Royal British Legion increased its average year-on-year buzz score, which rose with the heightened media coverage of last year’s First World War commemorations. One other, Marie Curie Cancer Care, stayed the same, while the others all achieved lower average scores than in 2013.
Last summer, Macmillan was placed third in Third Sector's Charity Brand Index, behind CRUK, which topped the list, and the Royal British Legion.
Six of the charities in YouGov’s index were also in the top 10 of the Charity Brand Index.
Briony Gunstone, associate director at YouGov, said: "One area that is worth watching over the next 12 months is that, with only two exceptions, there has been a small decrease in the scores across the charities on the list. It could be a small wobble that will right itself next time. If it continues into next year’s figures, however, it could indicate a wider problem in the sector."
The top 10 (with 2013 rankings in brackets) are:
1 Macmillan Cancer Support (1)
2 Cancer Research UK (3)
3 Help for Heroes (2)
4 British Heart Foundation (6)
5 Royal British Legion (4)
= 6 British Red Cross (8)
= 6 RNLI (5)
= 6 Dogs Trust (9)
9 Marie Curie Cancer Care (10)
10 Guide Dogs (7).