RNLI changes to fundraising cost £5m

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New strategy means shouldering large loss this year 

29th September 2017 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

RNLI’s decision to only contact donors who opt-in for communications has cost it £5 million.

Accounts posted by the lifeboat charity for the financial year ending December 2016, show that donations fell from £56.5m to £51.5m – 10% of donations.

Managers said that while the fall was significant it was a lower figure than expected.

The charity said: “Donations have reduced substantially as a result of stopping certain activities – for example, we had to temporarily suspend our Lifeboat Lottery – while we determined how our supporters want to be contacted.” 

RNLI took the bold decision for an opt-in only approach, meaning it got in touch with all its supporters and asked them if they were happy to continue to be contacted. 

“The decision to move to opt-in supporter communication is a clear statement that the RNLI remains committed to meeting its supporters’ expectations by acting ethically,” it said.

“We believe that this approach has led to us having – and retaining – one of the highest levels of donor and supporter trust within the charity sector.”

RNLI said its overall financial position remained healthy, with 12 months’ worth of charitable expenditure available in free reserves.

It had an expenditure of £179.4m, with £147.8m going towards charitable activities.

In 2016 the charity launched a new website, which it hopes will make it easier for people to access information. 

“This is vital, because we’re now able to show our impact more easily by sharing great stories to new and existing audiences,” the report said. 

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