haysmacintyre / Charity Finance 250 Index: Constituent Review 2019

22 Apr 2019 Research

A conservation charity set up by publishing entrepreneur Felix Dennis tops the list of 19 new entrants in this year’s review of the Charity 250 Index, writes Diane Sim.

This year sees 19 new entrants into the haysmacintyre / Charity Finance 250 Index. Our annual review finds four moving down from the Charity 100 Index and 15 moving up from outside the indexes.

The top new entrant from outside the indexes is Heart of England Forest, which enters the Charity 250 Index at position 76, based on its three-year average income of £42.3m. Total income at the conservation charity leapt from £16.7m in the year to 31 December 2016 to £131.4m in the 15 months to 31 March 2018, as a result of a £123.1m legacy from the charity’s founder, publishing entrepreneur Felix Dennis, who died in 2014.

According to Heart of England Forest chairman and TV journalist Jon Snow, the legacy has been designated for land acquisition. “With careful investment”, it should provide the means to achieve the founder’s vision of creating 30,000 acres of contiguous forest in the Heart of England.

The second largest new entrant is Lempriere Pringle 2015, which enters the Charity 250 Index at position 103, based on a three-year average income of £37.5m. Registered in 2015 as a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO), Lempriere Pringle 2015 is the successor charity to the Lempriere Pringle Trust, which was established in 1992 by Jonathan Ruffer, co-founder and chairman of Ruffer Investment Company.

The grant-making charity describes its broad objectives as advancing “such charitable purposes … as the trustees see fit”. However, its main focus is supporting the regeneration of Bishop Auckland in Country Durham via its sister charities the Auckland Castle Trust, Zurbaran Trust and Eleven Arches, which aim to bring tourist money to the area, create jobs and apprenticeships and encourage community involvement.

The third largest new entrant from outside the indexes is the Lloyds Register Foundation, which enters the Charity 250 Index in position 127, based on a three-year average income of £34.2m. The foundation first joined the Charity 100 Index in April 2017, after its three-year average income had been boosted by a £206m investment portfolio gifted in 2013 by the Lloyds Register Group, its wholly owned trading subsidiary.

Much lower annual income levels ranging between £10m and £30m between 2014 and 2016 saw the foundation drop out of the indexes altogether but an income of £53.8m in the year to 30 June 2017 has resulted in membership of the Charity 250 Index.

The four charities that fell from the Charity 100 Index to the Charity 250 Index this year (new positions shown in brackets) are: the Royal Voluntary Service (1), Motability (2), Shelter (7) and ActionAid (13).

Income requirements

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 threeyear run of audited accounts. Income data is extracted from accounts with financial year-ends up to and including 31 March 2018, with the index ranking based on average total income over the last three years.

The minimum income requirements for entry into the Charity 250 Index rose this year by 8 per cent from £22.8m to £24.5m. The vast majority of exits this year are charities whose income has not kept pace with this increase, with the exception of three charities which have moved up into the Charity 100 Index.

Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Britain moves 15 places from fifth position in the Charity 250 Index to position 90 in the Charity 100 Index. The religious charity reported a 79 per cent increase in income to £88.8m in the year to 31 August 2017, relating largely to the construction of a new headquarters for Jehovah’s Witnesses in Chelmsford.

Other promotions to the Charity 100 Index are Care International, which moves up an impressive 54 places to position 87, and Mercy Corps Europe, which moves up 28 places to number 95. Both humanitarian charities attribute their income growth to sustained increases in institutional funding, mainly from the Department for International Development in the case of the former and European Commission sources in the case of the latter.

Highest riser

The highest riser in this year’s review of the Charity 250 Index is the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark, which jumps 127 places from 182 to position 55, based on a three-year average income of £47.2m.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark was set up in May 2017. It is the successor charity to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Southwark Diocesan Trust, which sought to restructure as a CIO and transferred its assets and liabilities in October 2017.

Accounts filed by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark for the three months ending 31 December 2017 report a total income of £87.2m. As this includes the one-off transfer of £78.7m of assets from its predecessor, next year’s total income will likely fall to the level reported by this entity, which was £32.9m in the year ending 31 December 2016. Its position in the Charity 250 ranking is also likely to fall back.

Download the full list 

Charity 250 Index 2019


Civil Society Media's Charity Finance Week takes place in October and this year the theme is Accounts and Accountability. Find out more about the events taking place. 



More on