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Major fundraising charities lose £23m in investment assets during recession

Howard Lake | 22 April 2010 | News

Cass Business School reports that income from investments for the UK’s major fundraising charities fell by £23 million during the recession, while investment asset values fell by £1.5 billion (10.2%).

Cathy Pharoah, Professor of Charity Funding at Cass Business School, led the research which will be published in Charity Market Monitor in June 2010. The collective investment fund value of the UK’s 500 largest fundraising charities fell by 21.4%, and income from investments dropped by 8.4%.

Charities which saw a fall in the value of their investments in 2008-09 include:


How to move from Fundraiser to CEO - by Bruce Tait. Upwards white arrow on blue background.

* Cancer Research UK (down from £230 million to £154 million);

* Royal National Lifeboat Institution (down from £281 million to £221 million);

* NSPCC (down from £73 million to £49 million);

* The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association (down from £145 million to £127 million).

The table below gives a snapshot of the changing fortunes of the UK’s largest fundraising charities which provide many of the vital services on which government and the public rely.

 UK’s largest 500 fundraising charities
 2007/08  2008/09  real change
   £m  £m  %
 Income from investments  506.5  483.7  -8.4
 Investment funds  8,538.2  6,991.9  -21.4
 Assets  19,537.9  18,282.9  -10.2


Professor Pharoah explained the significance of these falls: “Many of the major service-providing charities rely on investment income to provide a cushion, or an independent source of income, against fluctuations in their income from legacies, statutory contracts or shop trading. A fall in the value of their assets makes it much harder for charities to plan future activities or commit to developing much-needed new services.”

Charity Market Monitor 2010 is a collaboration between Cass Business School and CaritasData. Through analysis of the finances of the UK’s major fundraising charities and causes, provided by CaritasData, CMM provides up-to-date annual perspectives on the funds they raise.