The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) distributed £958m to good causes last year, after a 43% surge in donations prompted by the pandemic.
This is a £300m uplift in donations compared with last year, according to its annual report for the financial year ending 30 April 2021, which was published yesterday.
CAF attributes the increase to way the philanthropists and businesses it works with responded to Covid-19.
It has seen a steady increase in funds distributed in the last three years. In 2018, CAF distributed £505m, in 2019 it was £646m and last year it was £702m.
During the year CAF received £20m from the UK government, as part of the Community Match Challenge programme. This helped create a £40m fund to support small charities affected by the pandemic.
Elsewhere, donations into CAF America increased by 71% to £364m.
CAF works with private philanthropists, businesses and individuals in the UK, US and Canada. Some donors send funds directly to causes whereas others use CAF accounts to build up a fund for future use. The funds entrusted to CAF topped £1bn for the first time this year.
Neil Heslop, chief executive of CAF, said: “The Charities Aid Foundation exists to accelerate progress in society towards a fair and sustainable future for all. This remarkable year of generosity, with more than £1bn donated into our care, demonstrates that the philanthropists and businesses that we partner with share this ambition.
“Together, we enable charities to do more life-changing work with lasting benefits and true impact where it matters most. We collaborate across sectors and borders, with governments and fellow funders seeking innovation so civil society may thrive.
“The donors we are privileged to work with have been inspired by charities’ remarkable response to the pandemic in communities everywhere. Those charities have been the frontline heroes in this pandemic and many have survived and thrived because of CAF’s partners. We are immensely grateful to have played our part during this difficult time.”