Fundraising income at the Trussell Trust increases by 71% after emergency appeal

16 Jan 2024 News

Fundraising income at the Trussell Trust increased by 71% to £55.6m last year, according to recently filed documents. 

Accounts for the financial year ending March 2023 show that fundraised income accounted for 95% of the charity’s total income of £58.0m, up from £34.2m the previous year. 

It comes after the charity launched its first-ever emergency appeal in late 2022.

The charity recorded an even higher income of £57.8m in 2020-21, boosted by mainstream media coverage during the year.

First emergency appeal

The largest contributor to the Trussell Trust’s fundraised income came from public donations, which sat at £35.5m, an increase of £14.5m on the year prior. 

The charity, which operates a network of over 1,400 food bank centres, received £450,000 in legacies for the financial year, a five-fold increase on the £77,000 it received the year prior. 

It told Civil Society that it had received a few gifts over £30,000 and one over £100,000. 

In October 2022, the charity launched its first-ever emergency appeal which resulted in the charity making a surplus of £2.8m, according to the accounts. 

As a result, total reserves for the charity were higher than planned at £35.5m. 

The emergency appeal raised more than £15m overall, the charity told Civil Society. Due to the appeal not ending until March 2023, the money has been spent on its cause already and will be displayed in its next annual report.

“Due to the widespread recognition across the country of the challenges faced by people experiencing hunger and poverty, we saw incredible support for our cause,” the accounts state.

“The generosity of supporters, including the response to our first ever emergency appeal, surpassed our expectations and therefore resulted in a small surplus of £2.8m.

“This surplus will be invested into our strategic work across future years.”

Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, told Civil Society in an exclusive interview: “We launched our first-ever emergency appeal last year and we saw a really generous response to that.

“So our income has gone up again, which is great and allowed us to continue expanding at that higher level to meet the needs of our food banks. Because a lot of that money came in at the end of the year, we’ve carried it into this year and we're spending it now.”

120% increase in need over five years

The Trussell Trust reported that food banks in its network saw a record level of need this financial year, with a 120% increase over the past five years. 

In the year to March 2023, a record 3 million emergency food parcels were distributed to people across the UK through Trussell Trust food banks, the most it has ever distributed. 

More than one million of these food parcels were given to children, over double the amount distributed to children by the charity in 2017-2018. 

In December 2022, a food parcel was distributed from the charity’s network every eight seconds, the accounts state. 

The accounts read: “These shocking levels of need are part of a longer-term trend that pre-dates the cost-of-living crisis and even the Covid-19 pandemic.

“These two events have had a major impact on food bank need and exacerbated the longer-term problems of a weakened social security system, which was already unable to protect everyone who needed its help from the most severe forms of hardship.”

Record expenditure

Total expenditure for the year-end was £55.2m, up from £50.6m the previous year, an almost 10% increase. This made it a record expenditure year for the Trussell Trust. 

The charity issued £20.8m in grants to food banks in its network, including support costs. 

It invested £7.3m into its helpline, which is run in partnership with Mind and Citizens Advice and provides advice to people experiencing food poverty and financial hardship. 

Staff costs increased from £10.4m to £13.3m for 2022-23, with wages and salaries rising from £8.9m to £11.3m. 

The average monthly headcount was 285 at the end of March 2023, up 47 from the previous year. 

Employees making more than £60,000 increased by four people to 29 members of staff. The highest earner made between £100,00 to £110,000 during the year.

An exclusive interview with Trussell Trust CEO Emma Revie will be published on Civil Society later this week 

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