Over the last five years we invested £100million in research and other patient benefit activities.
The last five years have been, for individuals, corporates and charities, some of the most challenging in living memory, epitomised by the UK falling into a double-dip recession within the last 12 months. Despite the challenges, with our loyal supporters and dedicated researchers, we have continued to invest in our vision to beat blood cancer.
What we have spent
Although this information has been prepared for our annual review it is important to consider the context of our charitable expenditure over a longer term, because we invest in many programmes of three to five years duration, and the cycle of their renewal can significantly impact on the investment required year on year.
Although the table indicates a reduction in our investment in patient benefit activities in this financial year, it is likely in the forthcoming year that we will make our highest level of investments since we began in 1960, largely due to an unprecedented number of programme renewals.
Our career development awards, which account for 13% of our charitable expenditure, demonstrate our commitment to attracting, supporting and developing the best researchers into the blood cancer field.
Investment in clinical trials has increased over the period, and accounts for 10% of all funding. The testing of and access to new drugs through clinical trials is a key component of accelerating patient benefit.
The Trials Acceleration Programme provides resources, support and a network of trials centres to improve access to such programmes by reducing the cost and burden of establishing new trials.
Support costs for charitable expenditure includes the direct and indirect cost of reviewing, monitoring and managing our investment in research and other patient benefit activities.
We are proud that our charitable expenditure represents nearly 82% of all expenditure in the period.
We recognise that at a time when every pound counts more than ever to be able to demonstrate that your money goes where you want it to go – saving lives.
Governance and cost of generating funds
The Board of Trustees is responsible for ensuring that the charity is operating effectively and efficiently. Governance costs include external audit and other costs incurred in support of this objective.
Approximately 1% of expenditure goes towards governance activity. Costs incurred in generating funds include all aspects of fundraising, trading and investment management fees.
At 17% of expenditure our fundraising is some of the most efficient amongst our peers. However, we continue to strive for improvements and believe that the recent investments in brand development, profile and a new supporter engagement system will enable us to further improve our performance.
How we raised the funds
Despite the continuing poor economic conditions we are pleased to be able to report income to 31 March 2012 of £19.2million, only 3.5% lower than the previous year, and bringing our total income over the last five years to £100million.
More than 50% of our income is raised by our wide and loyal supporter base, encompassing individuals, branches and fundraising groups, celebrities, corporates and other institutions. Activities range from gala concerts to golf days and cake stalls to sporting challenges.
Whatever their endeavour, we are indebted to all of our supporters for their unstoppable commitment to see blood cancer beaten.
Legacy income is a very important source of funding for our work. We are thankful to those who have the ability, foresight and belief in our researchers to leave a bequest in their will.
In the year to 31 March 2012 legacies contributed £6.7million towards our total fundraising income.
The charity has a portfolio of investments, to support existing research commitments and to provide working capital, which are managed by professional investment managers according to guidelines and policies agreed with the Trustees.
A poor economic outlook combined with a desire to accelerate our research investments will likely see static or reducing investment returns over the next few years as investments and reserves are reduced in line with plans.
Future commitments and resources
The pace of research progress and the potential of new opportunities to accelerate benefit to patients has been, and continues to be, a compelling argument for greater funding.
At 31 March 2012 we have outstanding research and career development grants totalling £62.5million to be spent in the next few years. However, there are still many more opportunities and funding needs.
The Trustees have begun to review our approach to grant funding and use of reserves in order to maximise resources available for charitable activities.
For more information about us visit our page on the Charity Commission site.