Income of British Red Cross reached an all-time high of £261.8m last year

British Red Cross accounts
British Red Cross accounts

The income of the British Red Cross rose by 15 per cent in 2014 to £261.8m, thanks to an increase in donations from the public and a rise of nearly 50 per cent in grants from the Department for International Development, its accounts show.

The charity’s income of £261.8m for the year ending 31 December 2014 compares with £228.4m in 2013 and £200.1m in 2012. It is the highest figure in the charity’s history, according to the charity’s annual report, submitted to the Charity Commission earlier this week.

Voluntary income accounted for £140.5m, up from £128.3m in 2013. Nearly half of that rise came from money from appeals conducted through the Disasters Emergency Committee, of which the BRC is one of 13 member charities.

Grants from DfID totalled £31.5m, up from £20.6m in 2013, with £18.6m of the DfID grants in 2014 relating to emergency response programmes in countries including Sierra Leone, Liberia and the Philippines. The third largest income category was retail; income totalled £29m, up from £28.1m the year before, thanks in part to new shops opening in the year.

The charity spent £180.7m of its £256.6m expenditure on charitable activities, £49.8m on generating voluntary income and £22.9m on running its retail activities, making 2014 the first time that the charity had produced a surplus since 2010. Its reserves at the end of 2014 were £35.6m, having fallen from £54.7m at the end of 2010 to £32.2m in 2013. The accounts say that reserves are likely to fall towards the policy minimum level of £22.5m by 2017.

The accounts show that the charity employed 3,358 full-time equivalent staff in the year, having had 3,200 employees the year before. The vast majority of staff were employed in the UK; the number of overseas staff fell from 62 to 53.

The highest-paid member of staff at the end of the year was Mike Adamson, chief executive of the charity, who earned a basic salary of £170,000.

Adamson was appointed chief executive in November. Previously the charity’s managing direction of operations, Adamson had been on the role on an interim basis after the previous chief executive, Sir Nick Young, stood down in August after his son’s death.

Adamson told Third Sector last year that he was heavily involved in the development of a new corporate strategy called "Refusing to Ignore People in Crisis". It has six themes, including putting people in crisis at the heart of everything the charity does, speaking up for people in crisis, better use of technology and attract and retaining the best staff.

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