Cancer Research UK’s income rises after receiving single £44m legacy gift

25 Aug 2023 News

Cancer Research UK’s income rose by £51m to £719m in 2022-23, boosted by a single legacy gift of £44m, according to its newly filed accounts. 

For the financial year ending March 2023, legacies were the largest single source of income for the charity at £261m.

This is an increase of £55m on the year prior and included a single gift of £44m alongside other multi-million-pound legacies. 

Donations and events were the second-highest source of income at £229m, an increase of £9m on the year prior. Some £11m of this was from the Bowelbabe Fund for Cancer Research UK (CRUK). 

Rise in retail income

The second highest percentage of the charity’s income was from its charity shops at 17%.

Its overall trading income was £127m, an increase of £16m on the year before. 

CRUK’s 549 high-street charity shops and 31 superstores generated over £113m in donated sales, new goods, cash donations, gift aid income and more. Event registrations and merchandise raised a further £14m. 

However, its income from investments almost halved year-on-year to £9m, while its royalties and grants income dropped by £15m.

CRUK also noted a downturn in regular giving in its accounts due to the “current economic climate”.  

“We’re incredibly grateful for the generosity of our supporters, in particular those who give us a regular gift each month. In the current economic climate, we’re finding it difficult to maintain or increase the number of people who do this,” the accounts read.

“However, more people have taken part in events year-on-year since the pandemic, and our social media fundraising challenges have continued to grow, raising over £20m, up from £19m last year.”

£25m less spent on research

The charity’s expenditure for the financial year ending March 2023 was £25m lower than the year prior despite an increase in income. 

Its expenditure was £641m and £398m was spent on cancer research (62%). This is £45m less than the charity spent on cancer research in 2022. 

The accounts state: “This is largely due to one-off timing changes of £55m to our Institute and Clinical Training Awards in the previous year. This change means that now all institutes receive formal confirmation of their award prior to the start of the financial year in April.”

Over the past two years, CRUK has spent £803m on cancer research. The charity is confident it will meet its target of spending £1.5bn on cancer research from 2021 – 2026. 

£151m staff costs

CRUK spent £151m on its employees in 2023, an increase of £11m on the year prior. 

This included termination costs of £300,000, which is a decrease from £900,000 in 2021-22. 

The charity group had 4,591 employees on average during the year, 279 more than the year prior, with 236 more people working on fundraising and trading at the charity. 

Its number of high earners also increased, with 261 staff making more than £60,000, 32 more than the year before.

The highest-earning employee at CRUK was chief executive Michelle Mitchell, who made between £250,001 and £260,000. 

CEO: ‘Cost-of-living crisis is impacting our work’ 

Mitchell said: “The increase in income we’ve seen this year is due to the continued generosity of our supporters, a strong performance from our shops, a rise in the value of legacies, and the money we’ve received from the Bowelbabe Fund for Cancer Research UK.

“We continue to face challenging and tough years ahead. The cost-of-living crisis is impacting cancer patients, our supporters and staff, and inflationary pressures affect our ability to raise money and erode the value of each pound we spend on research. I’m pleased we’re still on track to spend £1.5bn on research over a five-year period. 

“Cancer Research UK is at its best when we’re bold and ambitious so over the next year we’ll focus on seeking out new opportunities to grow our impact and income.”

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