The gross income of the charity sector has increased by over 20 per cent in the last five years, from £48.4bn in 2008 to £58.48bn in 2012, the Charity Commission's latest figures reveal.
The Commission publishes annual figures for the charity sector at the end of each year based on income reported by charities in their annual returns. The figures show a steady increase in the sector's income since 2008 despite fluctuation in the total number of charities which has resulted in an overall reduction from 168,354 in 2008 to 162,915 in 2012. This represents a 20.8 per cent income boost to the sector despite a 3 per cent reduction in the number of charities.
Largest charities taking a larger share
Large charities with an income over £10m appear to be doing best, with the proportion of total gross income held by these charities increasing from 53 per cent in 2008 to 57.3 per cent in 2012. These figures add to a steady increase in the proportion of income going to the largest charities since the turn of the millennium when the proportion was reported as 41.8 per cent, which is apparent despite a change to the way the Commission measures gross income since 2008.
A further 57 charities entered the £10m+ income bracket in 2012, taking the total number to 958. This is an increase of 28 per cent from 747 charities in 2008. The average income per charity in this bracket has also increased marginally in these five years from £34.36m to £34.97m, although there is a marginal decrease from 2011's figures which showed the average income of the largest charities to be £35.24m.
By contrast, there are currently 122,541 charities with an annual income less than £100,000 sharing 3.6 per cent of the overall gross income of the sector, an average of £17,194 per charity.