Monday, 19 March 2007


It has been said before that the RNLI is a 'rich' charity.

In a sense this is true. At the turn of the century it had more than £250m invested and a further £150m in assets making it the 13th richest charity based on funds. This worries some people. It suggests that the charity no longer needs financial support. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. The £150m in assets is tied up in a lot of property (boathouses, lifeboats and training facilities) which are all essential but are not assets which could be used to fund the work of lifesaving. As for the £250m invested, this is less that 18 months operating funds which sounds a lot but is in fact half of what is allowed by the Charity Commission.

During the 70's the charity fell on hard times. For some reason charitable giving had not kept pace with inflation and rising operating costs, as a result the Institution was almost bankrupt and was facing a situation where it was considering plans to close stations and cut back on services. Not surprisingly the Directors for the RNLI now understands the vital importance of holding reserves as a safeguard against a similar situation in future.

Indeed it is the reserves which give the Institution the security to plan for the future. In the time in which I have been on the crew I have seen this planning lead to two new classes of lifeboats being designed and built and money invested in vastly superior crew training facilities. This gives me confidence as a crewman that we will continue to have the very best of kit and be backed up with a professional and expert support structure.

The RNLI is not rich, it is solvent and necessarily so. Please keep giving.

1 comment:

haddock said...

I had a look some time ago at the RNLI site looking for a logo/link to put on my fishing blog. Nothing available there; can you use your influence to get code made available so that 'not very techie' bloggers like me could put a RNLI link button in the blog sidebar ? I'm sure there would be quite an uptake among bloggers and webmasters.