Fundraised income at Save the Children falls despite rise in legacies

The general trend across the top-10 fundraising charities over the past three years has been that rising legacy donations have masked a fall in other forms of fundraised income

Fundraised income at Save the Children UK has fallen over the past three years despite a rise in legacy donations, diverging from the overall trend at the biggest fundraising charities.

Income from gifts in wills to the charity has risen by 12 per cent – from £19.1m in the year to 31 December 2015 to £21.4m in 2017 – while income from other forms of fundraising has dropped by 5.9 per cent from £128.m to £120.9m.  

This is similar to the trend found by Third Sector in our analysis of the top-10 fundraising charities, including Save the Children, which showed that legacies were rising but other fundraising channels were struggling.

But while on average across the top-10 charities a rise in legacy donations was enough to make up for the drop in other forms of fundraising, this has not been the case at Save the Children.

Overall fundraised income at the charity fell by 3.6 per cent from £147.6m in 2015 to £142.3 in 2017, and dipped even lower to £130.3m in the intervening year.

Its annual report for 2017, the most recent which is available, acknowledged that some areas of fundraising had not been successful for the charity and that it had moved to change this.

"In 2017 we broadly held flat our overall investment in fundraising but changed our investment mix, cutting investment in poorly performing areas and investing in activities that were more profitable or will lead to greater income in the future," it said.

A spokesman for Save the Children said the charity was in the process of compiling figures for its next annual report and this "might help to shed more light on any possible trends" when it was published in a few months’ time.

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