Income from non-legacy fundraising at the RSPCA has fallen by more than 10 per cent over the past three years while legacies have risen, despite its attempts to reduce the charity’s reliance on gifts in wills.
Third Sector analysis of the animal charity’s fundraised income over the past three years for which accounts are available found that the charity’s legacy income had grown by more than twice the rate of other forms of fundraised income.
Non-legacy income fell by 10.3 per cent between 2015 and 2017, from £46.7m to £41.9m, while income from gifts in wills went up by 22.2 per cent, from £63.1m to £77.1m
The pattern is similar to the trend identified across all of the top-10 fundraising charities, including the RSPCA, whereby a rise in legacy income generally hides stagnation in other forms of fundraised income.
But although the RSPCA’s figures for 2017 are better than those in 2015, they actually represent a slight fall since 2016. Overall fundraised income fell by 1.9 per cent to £119m.
The charity declined to comment on the figures, but in its most recent annual report, which covers the year to 21 December 2017, it said: "Our fundraising activities did not achieve gross financial targets but again delivered the target net contribution.
"To achieve the society’s fundraising objectives of diversifying income streams and reducing over-reliance on legacies, significant investment was made in creating new products and propositions for supporters.
"These included new lottery and sponsorship products and enhanced geographical coverage for door-to-door fundraising."
The report said the charity had invested heavily in securing consent from supporters for ongoing communications to ensure it complied with the General Data Protection Regulation, which came into force in May 2018.