Reserves of best-known charities up by nearly £300m last year

Research by Third Sector finds that total reserves were £3.94bn, up from £3.65bn in the previous year

Reserves increasing
Reserves increasing

Reserves held by the best-known charities rose by almost £300m to more than £3.9bn last year, research by Third Sector has found.

Examination by Third Sector of the most recent accounts filed by the 155 organisations that make up the Charity Brand Index of the UK’s best-known charities found that the total amount kept in reserve was £3.94bn, up from £3.65bn in the previous year.

This means that, on average, the charities in the research were keeping a total of about four months’ income in reserve, based on the total funds brought in by the 155 organisations on the list.

Third Sector also found that the mean average amount kept in reserve by the charities in the research increased from £23.3m to £25.8m.

This rise coincided with a £300m increase in the total income of the top 155 charities to a total of £11.7bn, according to previous research by Third Sector.

Unrestricted reserves were defined as reserves that could be freely used by a charity if in financial crisis, and which were not restricted or designated to a specific purpose or project.

The accounts broadly cover the financial years for 2017 and 2017/18 – the most recent filed for most of the charities that feature in the Charity Brand Index.

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