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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 £140M to run our lifesaving service

Giving our lifesavers everything they need and deserve – from boots to boats – is costly. There are 235 lifeboat stations around the UK and Republic of Ireland, and our lifeguards patrol over 200 beaches each Summer.

In 2013 our £144.6M running costs were divided up into: 

Lifeboat service​


​Lifeboat property and equipment


Fundraising and legacies​


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 £48M into our capital expenditure programme in 2013, which includes constructing new lifeboats and the buildings which will house, protect and launch them. This spending is a vital investment in the future.

The new boathouse at The Mumbles not only provides a proper launch platform for the station’s new Tamar class lifeboat – it also gives crew the modern training and changing facilities they have needed for years.

‘What we have now equips us for the demands of the 21st century’ – Tim Conway, The Mumbles Lifeboat Operations Manager

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? Head to our 2013 in Review pages, read our Annual Report and Accounts or find out how we used our funds to go to the rescue last year