The Salvation Army, which runs churches and social action projects for old people, people in poverty and those caught in human trafficking across the country, received £63.6 million in 2018/19 from legacies alone.
Topping the list was the Capricorn Fund who received a one-off donation of £435.3m but after that Cancer Research was the most beneficial, followed by the RNLI then Macmillan Cancer Support.
Speaking to Premier, Salvation Army's Legacy Fundraising Manager, Jackie Birch, said: "It's amazing, absolutely amazing. A lot of the people that leave us gifts in their will don't actually have a relationship with us. I just think it's wonderful that whatever it is the Salvation Army is doing out in the community is having a massive impact about the way people feel about us."
"I think part of it is because people see the Salvation Army as an organisation that can be trusted. We're visible in the community because the Salvation Army is actually at the heart of community and people see what we're doing,
"Sometimes it's because we've helped a family member. We have a lot of people who tell us it's because of granddad in the war or dad in the Second World War and other people are actually using our services themselves.
"Almost half of the income that is donated to the Salvation Army actually comes through gifts in wills and the reason that's so important is that the Salvation Army wouldn't be able to do half of what we do - half of that delivering of services in local communities without these gifts."
She added that the Salvation Army is receiving grateful gifts from people who've seen members being good witnesses: "I've had a couple of people actually specifically tell me that one of the reasons that they've left us gift is, and this is while they're still alive, that they've actually seen an act of what they would call random kindness, done by a Salvation Army officer to perhaps a homeless person, or a vulnerable person and that's actually what prompted them."
The full list was as follows:
The top 25 charities for legacy income in 2018/19 (compared to 2017/18)
- The Capricorn Fund (received one £435m donation) – £435.3m (N/A)
- Cancer Research UK – £181.5m (£186.6m)
- RNLI – £135.1m (£130.5m)
- Macmillan Cancer Support – £84.5m (£76.7m)
- British Heart Foundation – £83.4m (£73.3m)
- RSPCA – £77m (£78.6m)
- Salvation Army Trust – £63.6m (£50.4m)
- The National Trust – £51.9m (£61.6m)
- PDSA £45.7m (£45.1m)
- Guide Dogs for the Blind Association £43.7m (£47.9m)
- Royal National Institute of Blind People – £41.9m (£41.7m)
- Dogs Trust – £34.9m (£30.3m)
- Basil Latsen 1999 Charitable Trust – £34.7m (N/A)
- Marie Curie Cancer Care – £34.4m (£33.2m)
- Charities Aid Foundation – £33.5m (£23.8m)
- Cats Protection – £31.5m (£30m)
- The British Red Cross Society – £31.3m (£30.9m)
- Honor Frost Charitable Trust – £30.4 m(N/A)
- RSPB – £30.4m (£34.6m)
- Age UK – £29.4m (£27.5m)
- Great Ormond Street Hospital – £26.2m (£14.1m)
- The Donkey Sanctuary – £23.3m (£24.8m)
- The Royal British Legion – £21.6m (£20.3m)
- NSPCC – £21.5m (£25m)
- Leonard Cheshire Disability – £21.3m (£7.2m)
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