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Top 5 Charities, what is the biggest Charity Foundation?

Updated on April 9, 2011

Charity Donation

In this article I wanted to shed some light on the world's biggest charities because one question I often ask myself when I often get stopped by a volunteer in the high street is 'how many charities are there and which one's should be given priority'. I say priority because unless you are immediately affected by a cause then it is difficult to single one out since most people can only afford to help one. Guidestar which is a website which holds information on every charity in England and Wales states that there are 163,000 main charities there, but today I am only going to talk about the top 5 because I want to clarify which charitable organizations earn the most and the reason why they play such an important part in society.

This list is based on public causes and does not include private charity organizations such as the British Council, Nuffield Hospitals and the Arts Council of England.

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Cancer Research UK - Cancer Charity

Cancer Research UK is recognized nationally and mainly because of its name is also understood relatively well having 30,000 active supporters in the UK. Currently they earn a staggering £380,813,000 to fund medical research, money for comforting cancer patients and to help families of those who suffer from various cancers.

Every year they hold fundraiser events such as 'Race for Life' where women can run, walk or jog 5K and have the chance to win great prizes, it takes place across the country in many cities and towns so you don't have to worry about missing it. You can be in with the chance of winning a trip dolphin spotting or a day of pampering by cosmetics company Nivea during the 2010 events.

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The National Trust - Conservation Fundraising UK

Here is one charity that many people may not know a lot about, I know I didn't until I researched them and I thought they were funded by tax payers money, but they do a great job protecting places of beauty and historical importance in the UK so that me, you and our children's children will be able to enjoy them now and in the future.The National Trust has 3.4 million members of which 43,000 are volunteers and this helps rake them an income of £192m.

With the National Trust you can purchase a membership which allows you to attend any of their events which are held across the UK including children's historically themed days, lecture lunches, summer gardens, farmers markets and 'rainy day fun'. Unfortunately Memberships fees and visitor entrance fees only cover a third of their costs so they rely highly upon donations.

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Oxfam - End World Poverty Foundation

Oxfam truly is a charity to admire, originally it was formed by a group of concerned citizen's within the British city of Oxford who wanted alleviate famine for starving people in Axis-occupied Greece during 1942. It has since developed into Oxfam UK which not only helps provide food to people during famine in poorer countries but also strives to find lasting solutions to poverty and injustice by opening fundraiser charity shops, an online store, donation options and musical influence, past examples being Glastonbury and Artic Monkeys band releasing exclusive singles in shop.

Emergency aid during natural disasters, one of their main charity donation quests is to provide clothing, shelter and medical supplies when entire families livelihoods are affected by hurricanes, earthquakes and Tsunami's. One way they do this is to set up clothing banks where people can easily deposit their unwanted clothes and shoes providing they are clean. Oxfam has popularized its brand by working with music events and ensuring the quality of its secondhand items has seen an increase in profit by 8% totaling a worth of £172m.

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The Salvation Army - Evangelical Christian Charity

The Salvation Army is one of the more older charities mentioned in this article, it was founded in1865 by one man named William Booth who was a Methodist minister and his wife Catherine. It began in the Eat end of London preaching to the poor and providing the homeless with aid, its motto being the three 'S's First: Soup, Second: Soap and Third:Shelter. It has grown since then to be active in 121 countries worldwide spreading a spiritual message in many different languages and having 800 churches in the UK alone.

If you are in a crisis and aren't Christian you may be put off from receiving help from the but they have recently started to project their image as less traditional and more relaxed to engage with the changing opinions of modern society. Examples of this can be seen within the charities sub-brand for youngsters called 'ALove' which is a UK Salvation Army for the net generation. It allows teens freedom from the church to express their work through more radical, adventurous missions and act on their faith in their own ways. This change in brand and extension global has seen a growth in support by 4% in the last 5 years making them worth a grateful£113m.

Photo courtesy of zieak

The British Red Cross - Crisis Charity Organisation

Finally we come to the 5th largest charity, The Red Cross UK. Unlike the Salvation army where many of its workers are paid, the Red Cross is recognized by the British government as a voluntary aid society which has over 31,000 volunteers and 2,600 staff. It helps people in crisis across the UK and overseas and was founded in 1870 to help casualties of the France and Prussia war, it was later reconstituted as 'The British Red Cross Society' by HM King Edward VII in 1908 and followed by assisting soldiers on the front-line of the 1st & 2nd world wars.

The Red Cross are most notably renowned for their training of recruits in first aid and provide emergency support for national health care during times of disaster such as ambulances and call centers. Examples of their work could be seen at the London bombings, rail crashes, floods, premiership football games, concerts and other events. Due to its efforts to train 150,000 people and an existing 34,000 already trained applicants, it is a valuable force worth£108m.

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