British Red Cross cuts fundraising spend by 26 per cent

17 Aug 2017 News

The British Red Cross cut its fundraising expenditure by £10.3m in 2016, and saw a £17.4m drop in fundraising income in the same year, according to its annual reports and accounts.

Spending on fundraising fell from £39.7m to £29.4m. Fundraising income fell from £152.8m to £135.4m - a drop of 11 per cent.

This is the second year in a row that the British Red Cross has made substantial reductions to its fundraising spending. Last year it cut spending by just over £10m, meaning that in two years, its spending has reduced 40 per cent.

The British Red Cross has also announced recently that it will part company with its fundraising director, Mark Astarita.

The charity’s overall income fell 9 per cent to £251.7m, the report showed. This was chiefly down to the drop in fundraising income, although income from shops and legacies – which the charity records separately – were also down.

The charity said it expects its fundraising income to be impacted “for the next few years” but that it was confident its operating model could withstand the changes.

“We suspended a number of areas of our fundraising marketing activity at the start of 2016, to ensure our fundraising practices complied with revised regulatory requirements,” the charity said in its annual report. “These activities restarted later in 2016.

“In addition, the markets for certain other fundraising activities, such as face to face fundraising, were subdued during the year.

“This meant our income and opportunities to invest fell in the year compared with 2015. We expect these operating circumstances to continue for the medium term.”

£3.2m redundancies

The charity spent £3.2m on redundancies, the accounts show, although staff numbers fell by only about 1.5 per cent to 4,094.

“This was mostly due to our Reshaping our Work in the UK project, which changed the way we were organised and how we delivered our services in the UK, to help provide a more efficient response to the needs of vulnerable people in crisis and deliver value for money,” the charity said in the notes to its accounts.


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