Cancer Research UK has estimated that its fundraising income will fall by up to 25 per cent over the next year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The fundraising giant, which had a fundraised income of £430.8m in the year to 31 March 2019, has warned that it expects to be hit hard by the crisis. It closed its 600 shops two weeks ago and has reviewed the feasibility of its 2020 fundraising events.
It expects to lose up to a quarter of its income from fundraising, including trading, in the 2020/21 financial year, according to a statement released today.
In the statement, the charity said it had “already had to make difficult decisions to cut some of its research funding”, a move it said would “directly impact” its goal to ensure that three-quarters of people survive cancer by 2034.
Michelle Mitchell, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, said: “There can be no doubt that this global pandemic is going to cause huge strain on charities in the coming months.
“While many things are still uncertain, it is clear that CRUK will be hit hard. We’ve worked quickly to understand how Covid-19 will affect our income and therefore our ability to continue funding our life-saving work.”
She said the charity’s priority was to support people affected by cancer, who were likely to be particularly vulnerable or to have their treatment affected by a knock-on impact on the health service.
“We made a decision to protect our volunteers and our supporters by closing our shops and postponing many events,” Mitchell said.
“This is the right thing to do, but it will have huge implications for our fundraising, and we expect to see a 20 to 25 per cent decline in fundraising income in the next financial year.
“It is essential that we respond, and quickly, and this has led to some difficult decisions. We’ve already deferred our spring research grant-funding round, and we are making further cuts to our research funding. This is uncomfortable for us, but we must be realistic about what we can deliver given the current circumstances.
“We remain tirelessly committed to making progress for people affected by cancer, but now more than ever support from both the government and the public will be vital. We simply will not be able to continue funding our life-saving work without it.”
Mitchell said the charity was also trying to help the NHS, with a number of its laboratories supplying equipment and expertise to support the testing effort.