THE 300 top-earning charities in Scotland pull in around £8bn a year, it has emerged.
The University of Edinburgh has the biggest income of them all at £819m, with universities across the country dominating the list of highest earning charitable organisations.
The Church of Scotland raised £48m from from congregations across ScotlandChurch of Scotland annual accounts 2015
The figures, published by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, include all income of the charitable organisations - including public funding.
A breakdown of accounts at Edinburgh University shows that £226m income was secured for academic research in 2015 with a further £10m in investment income banked. The university made a further £53m from catering, residences and conferences.
Glasgow University had the second highest income amongst Scotland’s charities at £511m, with Strathclyde ranked as third at £290m followed by Dundee at £243m.
Glasgow Life, which runs and manages cultural and leisure services in Glasgow, has the 10th highest income in Scotland at £126m
It sits just ahead of the Church of Scotland, which recorded an income of just under £110m - slightly less than its expenditure of £111.6m.
A breakdown of Kirk accounts show that £48m was raised through contributions from congregations with a further £43m raised from social care contracts. The sale of church property raised a further £2m.
The Church had a higher income than the University of Stirling (£108m) and Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen (£101m).
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The Edinburgh Merchant Company which runs three of Scotland’s top independents schools, The Mary Erskine School, Melville College and George Watson’s College as well as several individual charities, had the 19th highest income in Scotland at £564m.
It sat just ahead in the table of Mercy Corps Europe, based in Edinburgh, which recorded its largest ever income of £54m in 2015 - up 15 per cent on the year before.
The charity said it was due to increased activities in the Middle East, particularly Syria. For that it received £20.8m from institutional funders, including £15.1m from the UK Government’s Department for International Development.
Around 50 per cent of its income was spent on disaster relief and emergency response. Of this, 40 per cent was spent in Syria.
Closer to home, the National Trust for Scotland had the 22nd highest income amongst charitable organisations at £46m - but its expenditure was £2.4m higher.
Accounts show that £12.5m came from membership fees - up 7 per cent - with £3.1m generated by admission fees to properties and gardens. Around £1.7m was raised through the letting of properties both as residential and holiday accommodation.