Monday, 1 December 2008

Weathering the Storm

Along with the rest of the world the RNLI is caught up in the Global economic crisis. I, along with others in the Institution have just received a message from our Chief Executive, Andrew Freemantle. In his words,
It is too soon to say what the exact effect will be on the Institution, but despite this year's excellent fundraising results and our plans to build on this success, we are expecting a downturn in legacy income in 2009. At the same time, our reserves are lower, reflecting a sharp fall in our investments in common with other charities. In the short term, maintaining the 6-18 month range for free reserves set by our Trustees is going to be a challenge.

It is clear from his message that there is not going to be any 'knee-jerk' reaction, however, it is equally apparent that there are some tough decisions to come. With this in mind the RNLI management has come up with the following message:


Support us – Through good times and bad times, thanks to our supporter’s donations the RNLI has been saving lives for 184 years. But, the economy is currently in recession, many of our supporters face difficult times and next year our legacy income is expected to drop significantly. Your support is needed more than ever – together we can weather to storm!

Trust – The RNLI is an independent charity funded through voluntary donations and not by the Government – your vital gift will always be used to best possible effect. Trust our Lifeboat crews and Lifeguards and trust us to use your money prudently.

Our crews – We are determined to continue to do our very best to equip and train our Lifeboat crews and Lifeguards and our absolute priority is to ensure that our volunteers and staff remain properly prepared to save lives at sea now and in the future.

Reserves – Like all other Charities, the RNLI’s investments have been effected by the downturn in the investment market. However, through careful investment over the years and to meet situations such as this, we have built up reserves for the long-term management of essential capital projects. At sea we have to take risks, but on land we aim to minimise them through a defensive investment strategy.

Means – We cannot live beyond our means so we will adjust our budget and business plans where necessary, safeguarding our core plans; but some projects may have to be delayed. We are redoubling our efforts to make every penny count.

We look forwards to your continued support for the vital work we do...thanks.

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