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nfpSynergy launches new way of looking at charities

nfpSynergy launches new way of looking at charities

has classified charities into six different types by creating an archetype analysis of their different income and expenditure models.

The aim is to allow charities, donors and others to understand what the benchmark is for each type of charity, and to enable judgments to be made based on norms of income and expenditure for similar charities.

In the analysis, nfpSynergy has looked at the accounts of over 2,500 charities with an income of over £5 million. It suggests that while a charity can be a mix of archetypes, most have a dominant one.

The six types starting with the largest category by number are:

  • Contractors / service providers
  • Linked trusts
  • Traders
  • Investment trusts
  • Fundraisers
  • Legacy fundraisers

More information can be found in the slides below:


Joe Saxton said:

“For some time it’s been clear that the sector is not homogenous. It’s made up of a number of different types of charities who make their living by securing their income, and spending it in different ways. Our analysis demonstrates just how different these charities are, both financially and in terms of staff numbers, highest salary and percentage charitable income & expenditure.

“We think this work will begin to help people see not one sector, but six who while sharing a legal form, differ greatly in the way they make their money and spend it.”


Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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