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Charity Trends lists UK's most popular charities

‘Charity Trends 2003’ reveals that the UK’s largest charity is Cancer Research UK: at £239 million, the charity has a voluntary income nearly twice the size of the next largest, Oxfam.

The research behind ‘Charity Trends’, due for publication later this month, provides detailed analysis of the income and expenditure of the UK’s top 500 fundraising charities together with the latest individual giving figures.

“When Cancer Research Campaign and the Imperial Cancer Research Fund merged last year, they set a precedent for the rest of the sector – creating a type of ‘super charity’,” said Cathy Pharoah, Director of Research at CAF. “If more organisations believe that they could be more effective by merging, we could see increasing numbers of ‘super charities’ and that will change the face of the sector forever.”


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The top ten fundraising charities in 2002 were:

Charity Voluntary income £m Total income £m
Cancer Research UK £239 £263
Oxfam £122 £189
The National Trust £118 £201
Royal National Lifeboat Institution £107 £121
British Heart Foundation £104 £114
Salvation Army £88 £99
NSPCC £74 £91
British Red Cross £71 £158
Macmillan Cancer Relief £63 £69
RSPCA £60 £69

International aid remains the most popular type of charity to attract public support. With three international charities in the top 10, voluntary income rose to £486 million between 2000 and 2002. This was closely followed by cancer-related causes at £442 million, a real terms growth of 11% between 2000 and 2002.

For the first time in five years, children’s charities have beaten animal charities to take third place in the top ten causes, with £255 million compared to £244 million.

Although featuring lower in the overall fundraising stakes, charities dealing with both deafness and HIV/AIDS put in strong performances, increasing their voluntary income by 44% and 25% respectively over the two years between 2000 and 2002.

The top 500 fundraising charities research forms part of ‘Charity Trends’ (formerly ‘Dimensions of the Voluntary Sector’) 24th edition, the most comprehensive analysis of the resources and expenditure of the UK’s voluntary sector.

Published later this month, Charity Trends is available at the pre-publication price of £129.00 for the book or £179.00 for the CD Rom. Copies can be ordered from CaritasData.