What we know about Britain’s biggest charities

Each year, when we publish the Civil Society Almanac, we focus on answering top-level questions. For example: how many people volunteer? how much income do charities receive from the public? But there are plenty of other areas that are worth exploring in more depth.

With that in mind, we have been taking a closer look at what the Almanac calls ‘super-major’ charities – those with income over £100m. These charities have grown in number in recent years and include many household names. We wanted to understand more about who they are and how they compare with other charities.

You can read the full research briefing here (pdf, 380KB), but below are some of our main findings.

Many super-major charities have an international focus

Super-major charities are more likely to be involved in international activities than other charities. 18% of them operate in this area compared to 4% of all others. Also, some charities who are classified as working in other subsectors – such as the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation which sits within the grant-making foundations subsector – also have an international focus.

Super-major charities are also more likely to be based in London and the south than other charities. However, this often reflects the location of their headquarters and does not capture the fact that many will operate throughout the UK, working with local communities and organisations.

Their number and income are both growing

The number of super-major charities has been increasing, from 26 to 45 between 2008/09 – 2015/16, and this has been matched by a growth in income from £6.4bn to £9.4bn over the same period. Super-major charities’ share of the sector’s total income has also increased over this period, from 15% to 20%.

The largest growth in numbers and total income came between 2012/13 and 2013/14. Income rose by £1.7bn and the number grew from 33 to 40. The average income of super-major charities also rose from £198m to £205m during this time.

Read the full article and report here.

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By @Cobseo 55 years ago

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