The NSPCC’s 2012 Christmas appeal, Letter From Santa, raised £1.8m.
It began as a small-scale initiative run by community fundraisers and has grown in the past few years to become one of the charity’s flagship appeals. It raised £1.7m in 2011.
For a suggested donation of £5, a supporter can send a personalised and illustrated letter from Santa to a child. The design and content of the letters is changed each year to keep the appeal fresh.
Andrew Flanagan, chief executive of the NSPCC, said: "2012 was a challenging year for fundraisers everywhere, given the effects of the recession and many people cutting back on charitable donations.
"No doubt 2013 will be just as challenging, but the success of our festive fundraising campaign has given us real encouragement for the future and reinforced our faith in the great British public’s willingness to give."
The charity's total income in the year 2011/2 was £135.7m, of which £122.2m was voluntary income.