Survey shows charities are still not exploiting their brand value

Charities are consistently failing to make the most of their brands, according to an independent brand expert who has calculated the financial value of the UK's leading charity names.

Thayne Forbes, joint managing director of Intangible Business, believes that figures from the company's latest survey show that charities have done little to increase their brand impact since the list was first compiled a year ago.

"We have talked to lots of charities about how they could further their objectives by leveraging their brands, but we haven't seen much development in this area," Forbes said.

The top three charities have maintained their places in the top 100 league, with Cancer Research the most valuable at £209m, followed by the National Trust at £192m and Oxfam at £172m.

Intangible Business identified the most promising upcoming charity brands as Cafod, which has increased its revenues by 67 per cent since 2005, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, ChildLine, the Institute of Cancer Research and Christian Aid.

However, the RSPB, the RNLI, English Heritage, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity and the British Red Cross have all suffered a reduction in income or growth rates below inflation and could see their brand potentials drop accordingly.

Cancer charities lead the field with an accumulated value of £315m, while children's charities are worth £294m, health charities £283m and environmental organisations have a combined value of £280m.

A number of well-known charities were absent from the list because they did not have sufficient income to be surveyed. These included Remember a Charity, which is hosted by the Institute of Fundraising, Greenpeace, Wateraid and Samaritans.

Forbes said that charities should not be wary of trying to increase their brand values for fear of being seen as too corporate.

He added that one of the most effective ways in which charities could consolidate their standing was by licensing their brand names for use on consumer products, in the way that the British Heart Foundation has done with some food manufacturers.

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