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December 15, 2015

Report Blasts British Charities on Mission Spending

Nearly one in five major British nonprofits spend less than half of its annual fundraising take on direct charitable activities, according to new research cited by The Telegraph. Several of the country's biggest and best-known charities, including the British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK, spend the least proportionally on mission work, according to the report issued Saturday by the True and Fair Foundation.

The foundation reviewed financial data and annual reports of 5,543 organizations that raise more than $750,000 annually and found that 1,020 spend less than 50 percent on what it deemed charity work. Nonprofit leaders assailed the study, saying it misrepresented charity finances by, among other things, failing to count cause-related campaigns as charitable activity or factor in the cost of running retail chains, as do many large British groups.

True and Fair founder Gina Miller, a wealth manager and philanthropist, has campaigned for British regulators to set caps on charities' overhead spendin,g and the report proposes a 65 percent "minimum annual dispersal rate" and periodic reviews of groups' charitable status, Third Sector writes.