No, this isn't a wind up -- although it may cause some discussion!
< Edit: Before wading in to "defend" the RNLI please read and digest the whole of this post. They don't need defending, because I'm not attacking them. JK >
The RNLI do a fantastic job
. They save lives. They have brave and dedicated crews. You may need their help one day. So why not support them?
Simply because there are other rescue organisations that need your money more. As a high profile national charity with obvious emotional appeal (just imagine being shipwrecked in a storm . . .) the RNLI is extraordinarily well funded.
There are 1,600 fundraising branches all over the country. A Google search for RNLI fundraising comes up with 5,820 results. You only need to look at an RNLI lifeboat or lifeboat station to see how much money there is -- they have the best of everything, which of course they richly deserve.
However there is also a network of independent lifeboat organisations who don't have access to the vast fundraising network of the RNLI. They do the same job. They are Declared Rescue Facilities, available to HM Coastguard in exactly the same way as the RNLI. Their volunteer crews are just as dedicated and brave. But they have to scrimp and save for everything and their facilities are generally way below the level of a comparable RNLI station.
These will never get the attention of the Women's Institute branches in the Midlands, or manage to form a Fundraising Guild in Wisbech way inland.
The overwhelming majority of general public support will never even know about the other lifeboat services. However, as a small but well informed user group, we are in a position to really make a difference
without having any significant effect on the RNLI.
Unlike the £274,000 that the RNLI spends every day, relatively small amounts of money can make a big difference to these independent organisations. In most cases every penny that is donated will go directly to providing the rescue service. Around 80% of the money donated to the RNLI goes to the operations budget, the remainder going on fundraising and admin.
As an illustration
, let's assume that we have 5,000 members who currently each donate £10 a year to the RNLI. That brings in £50,000. It's a made up figure, but it gives some sort of idea of the order of magnitude that we're talking about.
As part of the RNLI's annual operating budget of over £100,000,000 it relatively insignificant. For an organisation like GAFIRS
with annual operating costs of £35,000 who are trying to raise £300,000 to extend their building and purchase a new boat, it would be a hugely significant amount.
So if you're going to donate money for a lifeboat, why not put it where your contribution will really make difference?
Here are some candidates you might like to consider:
Gosport And Fareham Inshore Rescue Service
Cowes Inshore Lifeboat
Ryde Inshore Rescue
Southport Offshore Rescue Trust
Severn Area Rescue Association
The Portishead Lifeboat Trust
East Sutherland Rescue Association
Loughor Inshore Lifeboat
Haverigg Inshore Rescue
Following on from Mike B's brilliant fundraising auction I would like to look at other ways that we can raise money, and nominate the independent life boat organisations as RIBnet's chosen group of charities.