Investment in 'cheaper TV advertising' helps Guide Dogs' income hit new high

An investment in “cheaper TV advertising” during the pandemic helped income at Guide Dogs rise to record levels for the second consecutive year.

The charity’s latest accounts for 2020 show income topped £125m for the first time, up from £122m in the previous year.

Income from donations and legacies held stable at £108m, despite the pandemic severely curtailing in-person fundraising activities.

The charity said this was in part thanks to an opportunity to invest in “cheaper TV advertising” during the pandemic, which helped it to “stand out” and recruit more donors.

Income from donors increased by more than £3m year on year to £52.5m.

Total spending fell more than £1m to £112m, but charitable expenditure rose slightly to £76m.

Staff-related costs also increased, by more than £1m to £57.5m, including £1.1m on redundancy payments.

The charity said there were a small number of redundancies in 2020 that were part of an ongoing restructure process that began the year before, but they were not related to Covid-19 or an attempt to cut costs.

Overall staff numbers actually increased from 1,384 to 1,442 in 2020.

Tom Wright, chief executive of Guide Dogs, said: “We are enormously proud and humbled by the loyalty of our supporters and the dedication and tenacity of our staff and volunteers.

“We knew early on in the pandemic that we’d lost face-to-face and events fundraising, so based on clear insight we decided to invest and took advantage of an opportunity to buy cheaper TV advertising.

“As a result, we were able to stand out in people’s minds and recruit more donors than we originally planned.”

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