Where your money goes

Giving our lifesavers everything they need and deserve – from boots to boats – is costly.
RNLI Welly filled with coins on the beach

Photo: RNLI / Nigel Millard

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.

It cost £176.5M to run our lifesaving service in 2017

Giving our lifesavers everything they need and deserve – from boots to boats – is costly. There are 238 lifeboat stations around the UK and Ireland, and our lifeguards patrol over 249 beaches each summer.

In 2017 our £176.5M running costs were divided up into: 

  • Lifeboats, property and equipment 42%
  • Lifeboat service 23%
  • Legacies and donations 15%
  • Lifeguard rescue 11%
  • Safety, education and awareness 7%
  • International 2%.

Repair, renew, rebuild – our capital expenditure

Much 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 £39.3M into our capital expenditure programme in 2017, which includes constructing new lifeboats and the buildings which will house, protect and launch them. This spending is a vital investment in the future.

In 2017, we completed 12 building projects and added 4 new renewable energy installations.

RNLI solar panels, heat pumps and a wind turbine generated a saving of around £145,953.

The All-weather Lifeboat Centre is an investment in lifesaving for generations to come and craft that will be built and maintained in this centre will bring our lifeboat crews home safely from the sea, back to their loved ones.
Paul Boissier
RNLI Chief Executive

Making your generosity work harder

As 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.

Want to delve deeper into the numbers? See our 2016 Annual Report and Accounts and learn more about the difference your support makes.