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haysmacintyre / Charity Finance Charity 250 Index Constituent Review 2017: A new influx

01 May 2017 In-depth

This year’s annual review of the Charity 250 Index sees 23 new entrants join the list, finds Diane Sim.

This year's review of the constituents of the haysmacintyre / Charity Finance Charity 250 Index sees 23 new entrants, with six moving down from the Charity 100 Index and 17 moving up from outside the Indexes. The top new entrant from outside the Indexes is Dulwich College, which only became eligible for membership this year, having first registered with the Charity Commission in December 2012. Its income has been fairly steady over the last three years, averaging £39.3m, making it one of the top ten largest independent schools in the Charity 250 Index.

The second largest new entrant is the Aga Khan Foundation (UK), which became eligible for membership following a near tripling of income in 2015 from £25.9m to £73.5m. The majority of this is funding for “institutional development”, which more than quintupled in 2015 from £10.4m to £57.1m. Most of this has been used to finance a student housing development in the King’s Cross area of London, where the majority of rooms will be made available for students attending programmes at The Institute of Ismaili Studies and the Aga Khan University Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations.

Some £49.5m of this funding came from affiliates of the Aga Khan Development Network, formed of nine private, non-denominational development agencies founded by the Aga Khan. These work primarily – though not exclusively – in Asia and Africa.

The third largest new entrant from outside the Indexes is the London Marathon Charitable Trust, as a result of three-year average income of £28.5m. Now in its 36th year, the Trust was set up in 1981 to distribute the profits of the London Marathon for the development of sporting and recreational facilities across London. Annual income growth was 28 per cent in 2012/13 and averaged 10 per cent in 2013/14 and 2014/15.

As for those that have fallen from the 100 Index to the 250 Index, the largest is the Pirbright Institute, which falls 29 places from position 80 in the Charity 100 Index to ninth position in the Charity 250 Index. The charity, which researches disease in farm animals, saw its annual income fall by 38 per cent from £63.7m to £39.4m in 2015/16, off the back of a comparable fall in income from grants and contracts.

Many of the three-year grants awarded to the Institute came to an end in 2015/16, and the grant success level for 2014/15 was not sufficient to offset the fall in income.


Of those that have left the Index altogether due to insufficient income, one of the most notable is 4children, which went into liquidation last September. Most of its services were transferred to Charity 100 Index member Action for Children.

Another noteworthy exit is Movember Europe, which joined the Charity 250 Index only last year in position 190 with three-year average income of £23.2m. The men’s health charity, which is a member of the global Movember Foundation, reported annual income of £22m in its first full year of operating as a standalone charity, against a target of £15.9m. It successfully maintained this level until 2014/15, when income fell back to £12m, and this figure fell below £10m in 2015/16, so it is very unlikely to rejoin the Index next year.

According to the trustees, “one of the reasons that income has dropped recently is that the Foundation has been a single ask and single product fundraising organisation”. They say they now need to “reposition the organisation in the minds of the public from being known as an annual fundraising campaign, to being known as the foundation for men’s health,” and develop “a new year-round, diversified fundraising strategy,” involving “new fundraising and donor channels outside of the Movember campaign.”

Highest risers

The highest riser within this year’s Charity 250 Index is the Challenge Network, which jumps 73 places from position 148 to position 75. Its annual income has almost doubled from £26.3m to £51.6m in the three years under review, resulting in an average of £38m.

The youth charity reported annual income rises of around 40 per cent in both the 2013/14 and 2014/15 financial years, due to a comparable rise in contract income resulting from an increase in the number of young people undertaking National Citizen Service (NCS).

Its seven prime contracts will entail the delivery of NCS across seven regions to around 34,000 young people in 2015, 47,000 in 2016, 62,000 in 2017 and 78,000 in 2018. Their total value over that period is around £250m.

Close behind the Challenge Network is the second highest riser, International Bible Students Association, which jumps 72 places from position 202 to position 130. Its annual income has more than doubled from £18.9m to £38.9m in the three years under review, resulting in an average of £28.7m.

The Association earns most of its income from voluntary donations and legacies from Jehovah’s Witnesses in over 1,600 congregations across the UK. It also received grants from Jehovah’s Witnesses in other countries including a £12m grant received in 2014/15 from a related charity in Germany.

The Association’s trustees describe “the voluntary support we enjoy from congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses” as consistent and reliable, making it unnecessary for the charity to engage in fundraising activities. Figures for the year ending 31 August 2016, which will be used to calculate next year’s ranking, do indeed show a healthy, albeit slower, pace of growth.

About the constituent review

Membership of both the Charity 100 and Charity 250 Indexes is reviewed every spring to take into account income fluctuations, new charities and charities for which it had previously not been possible to obtain a three-year run of audited accounts. Income data is extracted from accounts with financial year ends up to and including 31 March 2016, with the index ranking based on average total income over the last three years.

Click here to read the full Charity Finance 250 Index Constituent Review



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