British Red Cross's income falls by more than £23m

Donations fell by £15.7m to £104.5m in the year to 31 December 2016

British Red Cross has seen its total income fall by £23.4m, including a £15.7m reduction in donations, the charity’s latest accounts show.

The accounts, which cover the year to 31 December 2016, show that total income at BRC fell by £23.4m to £251.7m.

This is in part due to a £15.7m reduction in donations to £104.5m, a figure that includes a £4.9m reduction in donations from regular givers to a total of £47.7m, the accounts show.

The charity also spent £3.2m on redundancy costs, compared with £800,000 in 2015. The accounts say this was due to changes in the way it organises and delivers services in the UK.

The charity said last year that its restructure could see more than 100 jobs lost but it hoped to save £10m a year.

Grant income fell by £10.2m to £23.3m, which reflected a £10.3m cut in funding from the Department for International Development, according to the accounts.

The accounts say this was due to a reduction in large-scale emergencies abroad.

Expenditure at the charity fell by £23.1m to £236.6m, including a £17.5m reduction in spending on international activities to an overall £59.2m.

Overall spending on charitable activities fell from £195m to £181.7m, and there was a £10.3m reduction in fundraising costs.

The accounts say that the charity expects reforms to fundraising in the charity sector to impact on its fundraising income in the next few years, but also say that the charity is "confident" it will accommodate those changes.

The charity’s fundraising director, Mark Astarita, announced last month that he will join the consultancy Aldrich & Ward in November.

The charity also suspended part of its fundraising marketing activity at the start of 2016 "to ensure our fundraising practices complied with revised regulatory requirements".

The accounts also say: "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."

David Bernstein, chair of British Red Cross, said in his introduction to the accounts: "We continued to modernise our organisation in 2016. As part of this programme, we are reshaping our work in the UK.

"The aim is to create a more effective and efficient organisation so our teams can deliver better services and respond to the myriad of challenges that come their way. We cannot stand still. We need to move forward and change with the times."

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