The RSPCA saw a fall of almost £12m in its income in 2013, but has refuted allegations in a national newspaper that its campaigning activity has driven away donors.
RSPCA’s total income fell from £132.8m in 2012 to £121.2m in the year ending December 2013. Voluntary income fell from £112.4m to £105.4m, a drop of £7m.
It said it was considering job losses as a result.
Yesterday the Sunday Mail said the charity was “accused of betraying its core support", and that this was linked the income drop to the charity’s campaigning against hunting, the badger cull and the Grand National.
In a statement the charity said: “Income always tends to go up and down but was at its highest in 2012 which was the year when we were being accused of being our most political, so this clearly isn't the reason.
"It was legacies that were down last year and these are decided by those who chose to leave money to the RSPCA years in advance of us actually receiving the money.”
Legacy income in 2012 was £67.7m in 2012 and £62m in, a drop of £5.7m, accounting for the majority of the fall in voluntary income.
Income from direct marketing went up in 2013, from £26.4m in 2012 to £32.1m in 2013, with the cost of the activity remaining broadly the same at £10m.
Jobs to go as part of restructure
The charity has also announced restructuring plans to tackle its financial problems that will include a review of staffing and lead to job cuts.
Through the ‘sustainability plan’ the RSPCA said it intends to prioritise its frontline animal welfare work.
Mike Tomlinson, chair, said: “We have already made significant budget cuts since a decision by council in 2009 to bring the RSPCA’s expenditure and income back into balance.
“However, last year’s figures, when the charity had a net cash outflow from its core work of £6.1m, are clearly unsustainable and show that things cannot continue to carry on as they are.
“Faced with rising costs including private boarding as well as fuel, energy and veterinary bills our operational costs are increasing faster than income is being generated.”
“We have already started to implement plans to diversify the Society’s income into new areas such as events and business, which will see the RSPCA move away from a reliance on legacy income.”
Last autumn the charity played down reports that its deputy chairman had warned that the charity could be gone in ten years' time because of a lack of strategy around its campaigning.