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Where your money goes

An RNLI welly full of coins

​As a charity, we depend on people like you to help us meet the cost of saving lives at sea. Our volunteer lifeboat crew members give their time for free, but they need training, well-maintained equipment, lifeboats and shore facilities. Your support means our crews can save lives quickly, safely and effectively.

Each year it costs over £160M to run our lifesaving service

Giving our lifesavers everything they need and deserve – from boots to boats – is costly. There are 238 lifeboat stations around the UK and Republic of Ireland, and our lifeguards patrol over 220 beaches each Summer.

In 2015 our £168.1M running costs were divided up into: 

Lifeboat service​


​Lifeboat property and equipment


Legacies​ and donations


Lifeguard rescue​


​Safety, education and awareness


Repair, renew, rebuild – our capital expenditure

The new Tamar class lifeboat on the new slipway station at The MumblesMuch of our income is used to keep our lifesavers ready for the next call for help. But how do we prepare for the years to come? We put £51.3M into our capital expenditure programme in 2015, which includes constructing new lifeboats and the buildings which will house, protect and launch them. This spending is a vital investment in the future.



Making your generosity work harder

RNLI fundraising volunteers hold a collecting bucket in the rainAs a charity, we know how much effort and thought goes in to raising every pound or euro which comes our way. So we’re committed to using funds in the most efficient ways possible.

After three years of staff and volunteers working together on our continuous improvement programme, we have achieved repeatable annual savings of £22.3M. That’s £22.3M saved each year, which can now go straight to where it’s needed most – our lifesavers.

And by bringing all-weather lifeboat construction in-house for the first time in RNLI history, our new All-weather Lifeboat Centre will save more than £3M every year once fully up and running.

Want to delve deeper into the numbers? Read our 2015 annual report for a full breakdown of our costs and expenditure across the year.