Barn Owl Trust finances

What happens to your money?How we use your £1 2020

For every £1 you donate, 88p goes directly towards Barn Owl conservation. The other 12p helps us to run the charity and to raise the next £1. We spend 59p from every £1 on practical conservation work such as making and erecting nestboxes and caring for casualty owls and 29p on running our free national information and advice service. Support costs include running vehicles, paying phone bills, insurance etc.. Our Management costs are 2p and include accountancy and end of year ‘independent examination’.

We are always pleased to hear from individuals or businesses that would like to support our work. Please contact us.
Ways to support our work.

Income 2019 2020

This chart (right) shows how our income was made up in the financial year ended 31st March 2020. Donations were 31% (41% in 2019) and grants 8% (14% – 2019) of our income. ‘Charitable activities’ includes the sale of nestboxes and our training courses and was 40% (26% – 2019) of our income. ‘Other income’ 2%, includes, bank interest and solar energy generation. Legacies accounted for 14% (13% -2019) of our income in the year. Our total income was £307,159 (£433,731 -2019).

You can view full copies of our accounts from 2012 onward on the Charity Commission website.


As with most organisations our expenditure increases year-on-year. It costs us more to do the same amount! Our total expenditure for the year was £347,180 compared to £311,246 in the previous year. The chart below for the same period shows that we spent 87% (86% – 2019) of our expenditure on Conserving the Barn Owl and its Environment. Expenditure 2019 2048% went on practical conservation, 29% on running our free national information and advice service, 10% was the cost of building nestboxes and running our training courses. Our Support costs made all of these things possible – 7% of total spend covered the costs of running vehicles, telephones, electricity, insurances etc. We spent 2% of Support costs on management of the charity enabling us to fulfil our legal obligations; accountancy, financial inspection etc.  Fund-raising, publicity and purchase of sales goods accounted for 5% (6% – 2019) of expenditure. We are able to keep these figures low because we have a wonderful team of volunteers.

The significance of grants and legacy income

The Barn Owl Trust became a registered charity in 1988 and we published our first accounts in 1989. The Trust has grown in response to the need for the services we provide – practical conservation, education, information and research. We also own and manage 26 acres of land for wildlife The Lennon Legacy Project and have a small owl sanctuary and owl hospital. This growth has been made possible by the donations and other income we receive with the support of grants for specific projects and legacies. The chart below shows our annual income and the significance of grants and legacy income since 1989.

The significance of grants and legacies since 1989 2020


The Economics of Charity Life

Income and expenditure and the difference 2020


We have 14 staff (4 full-time and 10 part-time). We don’t have a fund-raising team. Applications for grants are written by the staff and most fund-raising is done by volunteers. The general economic situation over the last few years has affected us. Grant giving trusts have less money available and more applications. Like most other charities the grant income we receive varies year on year. This year our expenditure exceeded income by £40,021 which we covered from reserves. Grants and Donations were 50% less than last year when we saw a significant increase in non-designated donations form charitable trusts including one that was closing down.

The chart above shows our income and expenditure since 2000 and the difference between the two. You can see that since 2004 we have ended several years, including this one, with a deficit. We’ve been able to weather these low periods (when expenditure exceeds income) thanks to legacy income. However, our reserves were severely depleted by two years of deficit, (-£33,281 & -£99,674 in the 2012 and 2013 financial years).

To ensure we can continue operating at our current level we need to become less dependent on legacies and increase our regular support, donations and fund-raising. We need more Friends!

You can help by:Donate Support Our Work Button 2

Thank you for supporting Barn Owls.

Barn Owl LLP flying day with radio tag

Updated November 2020