The RNLI has revealed a £28.6m fall in resources in 2018, which the charity describes as a “challenging year”.
Its annual accounts for the financial year ending 31 December 2018 state that “2018 was a challenging year financially for the RNLI” due to reductions in legacy income and investments.
The charity has announced that its legacy income fell by £8.5m (6.4 per cent) and its investments reduced in value by £10.1m “during an uncertain economic climate”.
This is the first time in five years that the charity’s legacy income has fallen. One factor is challenges that executors are experiencing in the current housing market.
“Executors are struggling to sell properties in the current climate and estates take longer to process, with increasing complexities in finalizing estates,” states the charity’s annual report.
It adds: “This meant our financial resources reduced by £28.6M in 2018 which we managed through our free reserves. This is the reason we have reserves, to overcome such short-term challenges.
“Looking at our three-year plans, and recognising the uncertain economic environment, we have employed a new fundraising director to ensure our future income meets the needs of the organisation.
“Similarly, we will be re-energising our ongoing focus on efficiencies to reinvest in our lifesaving work.
“We remain in a healthy position, having absorbed these challenges with sound financial management. The RNLI will continue this focus in the coming years to remain financially well-governed.”
While the charity has been hit by falls in some income areas it notes that there has been an increase of £1.9m in donations. This has come from gifts from trusts and appeals among supporters.
“This increase will need to continue over the next few years for the RNLI to keep its lifesavers safe and save more lives,” adds the report.