What happens to your money?
For every £1 you donate, 86p goes directly towards Barn Owl conservation. The other 14p helps us to run the charity and to raise the next £1. We spend 58p from every £1 on practical conservation work such as making and erecting nestboxes and caring for casualty owls and 28p on running our free national information and advice service. Support costs include running vehicles, paying phone bills, insurance etc.. Our Management costs are less than 3p and include accountancy and end of year ‘independent examination’.
This chart shows how our income was made up in the financial year ended 31st March 2019. Donations and grants together account for 55% of our income. ‘Charitable activities’ includes the sale of nestboxes and our training courses and was 26% of our income. ‘Other income’ includes, bank interest and solar energy generation. Legacies accounted for 13% of our income in the year.
You can view full copies of our accounts from 2012 onward on the Charity Commission website.
This chart (right) for the same period shows that we spent 86% of our expenditure on Conserving the Barn Owl and its Environment. 46% went on practical conservation, 28% on running our free national information and advice service, 11% was the cost of building nestboxes and running our training courses. Our Support costs made all of these things possible – 8% of total spend covered the costs of running vehicles, telephones, electricity, insurances etc. We spent just less than 3% 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 6% 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 Economics of Charity Life
We have 15 staff (3 full-time and 12 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 grants were higher than at any year since 2003 at £61,700. £30,000 of this was from one charity and designated to replace our tractor. Donations & Other Income was 48% higher than last year mainly due to 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 with a deficit, fortunately this year this is not the case. 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!
- Making a donation to support our work or a specific project.
- Becoming a Friend of the Trust and making a regular annual or monthly donation.
- Adopting an owl.
- Giving an Owl Aid gift.
- Considering a bequest to Barn Owls in your will.
- Buying from our ‘green’ Shop.
- Checking our “Do you have something we need” page.
- Holding a fund-raising event – email the office with your ideas.
- Giving without money.
Thank you for supporting Barn Owls.