Charity income drops 16%
In an annual report to the committee of trustees of Buxton Mountain Rescue Team, the Honorary Treasurer reported that during 2009, income in real terms had dropped by over £12,000 from 2008 figures.
However, local support was still buoyant with numerous small clubs and societies raising money for the team. The Treasurer said “The team is becoming more reliant on the generosity of local people as income from the bigger charitable trusts and foundations is falling in these times of recession.”
Team members themselves continue to work hard to raise money by committing increasing amounts of personal time to street collections and similar events. Our network of red counter-top collection boxes has grown to raise nearly 10% of the charity’s annual income. Donations from the website too, are increasing which again reflects the generosity of local clubs and individuals.
The Treasurer highlighted the problems of small charities “The interest rates offered to charities are pathetic compared to what business and personal savers are offered. That is also compounded by the incredible bureaucracy created by regulations aimed at preventing money laundering which makes investing money on behalf of the charity very difficult and time consuming.”
Last year the team spent over £43,000 of which around £17,000 was on the basic general costs of maintaining the rescue service. The additional £25,000 was spent upgrading operational and training equipment including: 30 x new radios, 50 x helmets, 50 x search lamps. Much of this money was raised by clubs for the specific items, and the team is sincerely appreciative of this support. The Treasurer said “The public must be assured that the money they raise goes into the pot to improve the service. With no staff to pay, team administration costs less than 1% of income. The charity needs a cushion of cash in case of really hard times but every penny received is immediately earmarked as to how it will be spent.”
Value Added Tax is still a major issue and there has been no relaxation in the rules for voulntary rescue teams. Even though the charity benefitted from the general reduction from 17.5% to 15% in the VAT rate during the year, the team still paid somewhere in the region of £5,000 on its purchases.
The Treasurer concluded by saying “The future of the rescue team is secure as the Trustees plan and budget well ahead to ensure that the rescue service is never in jeopardy. However, with two significant capital purchases in the offing, the fundraising campaign must continue with enthusiasm.”
Photo: Honorary Treasurer, Roger Bennett, guardian of the chequebook!