What happens to your money?
For every £1 you donate, 87p goes directly towards Barn Owl conservation. The other 13p helps us to run the charity and to raise the next £1. We spend 62p from every £1 on practical conservation work such as making and erecting nestboxes and caring for casualty owls and 25p on running our free national information and advice service. Support costs include running vehicles, paying phone bills, insurance, etc.. Our Management costs are 5p and include accountancy and end of year ‘independent examination’.
This chart below shows how our income was made up in the financial year ended 31st March 2023. Donations were 12% (34% in 2022) and grants 2% (7% – 2022) of our income. ‘Charitable activities’ includes the sale of nestboxes accounted for 11% (32% – 2022) of our income. This year we have been registered for VAT which reduced our profit on sales and increased our management costs due to additional accounting requirements. Our training courses resumed online in April and generated 4% of our charitable income. Fundraising accounted for less than 1% (>1% – 2022) ‘Other income’ was 1% and includes bank interest and solar energy generation. Legacies accounted for an extraordinary and unusual 73% (23% -2022) of our income in the year. Our total income was £1,323,041 (£389,064 -2022).
You can view full copies of our accounts from 2012 onward on the Charity Commission website.
The Charity Commission are not yet ready to accept Annual Report submissions for the last financial year due to the ‘updating’ of their website and processes. We will send our full accounts as soon as they are ready to accept submissions.
As with most organisations our expenditure usually increases year-on-year. It costs us more to do the same amount!
Our total expenditure for the year was 13% more than last year. Total expenditure this year was £404,246 compared to £359,356 in the previous year.
The chart (right) for Expenditure 2022-2023 shows that we spent 87% (86% – 2022) of our expenditure on Conserving the Barn Owl and its Environment. 49% was spent on practical conservation, 12% was the cost of building nestboxes, 25% went on running our free national information and advice service, and Training Courses absorbed 1%. Our Support costs made all of these things possible including the costs of running vehicles, telephones, electricity, insurances etc. We spent 5% of Support costs on management of the charity enabling us to fulfil our legal obligations; accountancy, VAT, financial inspection etc. Fund-raising, publicity, grant applications and purchase of sales goods accounted for 5% (6% – 2022) 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 manage 26 acres of land for wildlife The Lennon Legacy Project which, in 2021 we transferred to the Barn Owl Legacy Trust. We also have a small owl sanctuary and owl hospital and in 2023 we replaced our old office with an energy-efficient future-proof workspace thanks to legacy income.
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 (and gifts in memorium) since 1989.
As you can see in the last financial year legacies made up over 73% of our income.
The Economics of Charity Life
We have 19 staff (7 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. Last year our income exceeded our expenditure by £30,008, this year our income exceeded our expenditure by £918,795 due to legacy Income. Both of these surpluses have allowed us to plan ahead. Grants were slightly lower and legacies during the year were greater than at any time in the Trust’s 35 year history. In May 2023, the Trustees held an Extraordinary Meeting to plan how to use the incredible legacies received during this financial year, and the funds have been designated to increase our Conservation Team, allow more research and practical work and to work towards reducing the impact of the Climate and Ecological Crisis.
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. We’ve been able to weather these low periods (when expenditure exceeds income) thanks to legacy income. Our reserves were severely depleted by two years of deficit, (-£33,281 & -£99,674 in the 2012 and 2013 financial years) and -£40,021 in 2020. 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.
Updated August 2023