This morning, an article was published in the Telegraph that inaccurately reports on how much money we spend on our charitable work. We want to correct that and provide you with the right information.
We need to raise £37.7m a year to keep our health care services running. Fundraising plays a crucial part in helping us to achieve this.
Our fundraised income comes from a variety of sources making it hard to make like for like comparisons across charities. Our income comes from legacies, events, regular and one off donations, support from corporate partners, donations from trusts and through community fundraising. And we also raise income through our 450 high street charity shops.
Compared to other ways of raising money for charity, shops are a very different, based on business principles where a customer buys something with a price attached to it, rather than making a cash donation.
Our 450 shops play an enormous part in raising money to help us provide more incredible care, generating £14m to support our work. But, as is the case with all charity shops, we have to spend a lot (£45.6m in 2014/15) to generate these funds.
And although we benefit from business rate reductions and the priceless contribution of our thousands of volunteers, we do have to pay full commercial rates for rent, utilities and services - as well as shop staff, stock collection and shop maintenance costs.
We’re now the 4th largest charity retailer in the UK and our shops play an invaluable part in helping us do what we do, but these costs can sometimes make us look like a ‘cost heavy’ organisation when compared with other charities without shops or with a smaller retail operation.
We know that charity shops also play a big part in the local community by providing volunteering opportunities, recycling clothes, toys, furniture and other household items as well as providing an alternative way for people to support a charitable cause. Not everyone wants to - or is able to - support charity through cash donations and many people like to help support our important work by giving in this way.
We have a national fundraising team who manage legacies, corporate partnerships, individual giving and our lottery too. And we also have six hospice based fundraising teams working hard to raise funds and awareness in their communities.
We spend 72p of every pound we are given on providing incredible care. The figure is variable and it only takes one or two large donations in any year to push the ratio much higher.
2014/15 was an extraordinary year for us at Sue Ryder. Within the overall cost and income figures in our financial report, we have included two fundraising projects as well as our usual fundraising activity.
1. Our successful appeal to build a new hospice within the grounds of Thorpe Hall in Peterborough (£0.25m costs and £1.0m income) which finished in June 2015.
2. The first year of our three year charity partnership with Morrisons (£0.6m costs and £2.4m income). These costs include the first year costs of implementing new healthcare services and service expansion funded by our Morrisons partnership, including the new community health care services, family support teams and the development of our Online Community and Support.
These two projects show a ratio of 75p returned from each pound raised, however the nature of these areas makes the numbers very volatile from year to year, particularly for the Morrisons project where these services are still in their infancy and we are committed to continue investing in them as they grow.
Excluding these two projects, our remaining fundraising income and costs are £12.3m and £3.5m respectively. This means that we are spending 72p of every pound we receive on our charitable aims of providing incredible hospice and neurological care.
You help us provide incredible care
Our fundraising and retail team are here to raise money to fund our work but we can’t do it without you. People support us in all kinds of ways – giving up time, clearing out their wardrobes, donating money, putting on community events, and spreading the word about what we do. Without this help we simply wouldn’t be able to carry on providing the services that so many depend on.