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How we raise our funds

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It’s thanks to the generosity of our supporters that Age UK can be here for so many older people when they need us most.

In 2019/20, our wonderful supporters helped raise over £67 million. 

Our income and expenditure in 2019/20

Age UK income and expenditure flow chart

Gifts in wills provide support and friendship, now and for the future

We simply could not continue to help older people today or research and campaign to make later life better for future generations without the generosity of those leaving a gift in their will to Age UK.

In 2019/20, income from legacies totalled over £24.9 million.

How to leave a gift in your will

My uncle was a gentle and generous man who enjoyed life and died just 3 weeks short of his 101st birthday. I know he would be very happy that his money is being spent on such a good cause helping others, perhaps less fortunate elderly people to get the most out of their final years.

A valued Age UK supporter

Donations help us reach more older people

The work of Age UK would simply not be possible without the generosity of the public. Each year thousands of supporters make one off or regular donations to support older people. This year, income from donations and gifts was £13.5 million. Donations and gifts remain our second biggest source of income after legacies and is an area which we hope to grow over the coming years.

Our lottery and raffle players helped fund vital work

Age UK’s society lottery (including our raffle) income in the year totalled £11.5 million. It’s a significant and reliable source of funding for the charity and is one of the largest charity lotteries in the UK. The lotteries and raffles programme supports 3 specific areas of Age UK’s work under three Society Lottery licences: information and advice; education and research; and local programmes.

Partnerships are at the heart of our fundraising

In 2019/20, we received £17.8 million in support from corporate partnerships, trusts and public sector grant-giving bodies. With this funding we have been able to support ground-breaking research into cognitive ageing, deliver programmes that tackle loneliness, promote health and wellbeing, and provide information and advice to older people most in need. As well as providing funding, our corporate partners’ employees have given thousands of hours of volunteering, donated hundreds of bags of stock to our shops, and shared their skills and expertise to help us be here for every older person who needs us. We thank every one of them.

Become a corporate partner
Learn more about our work with trusts and foundations

“The hardest thing is not having someone to talk to when you’re on your own. When I rang Age UK, it was just as if I’d hit the jackpot. It’s given me a new meaning.” 

Roy

Our fundraising values

We have developed fundraising values that put older people at the very heart of what we do. Our supporters can be reassured that our fundraising will always be of the highest standard.  

Ensuring positive fundraising

Our aim is to ensure that engaging with Age UK’s fundraising activities is a positive experience and that donors and the public are always treated with respect, fairness, honesty, and clarity. Age UK is regulated by the Fundraising Regulator and therefore complies with the Code of Fundraising Practice and the Fundraising Promise. Age UK is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Fundraising and we collaborate with them to strive for the highest standard of fundraising practices across the sector. We regularly review our fundraising approach and work with others with the aim of promoting best practice across the charity sector.

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Keeping our supporters’ data safe

We take the role of protecting and using supporter data in the right way very seriously. Our Chief Data Officer and Information Security team continually review how we securely and safely store, manage, and destroy personal and sensitive information. We maintain a strict adherence to the Data Protection Act 2018 and record supporters’ preferred methods of communication.

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Fundraising through third parties

Rigorous contracts are in place with third party agencies and we require strict adherence to applicable laws such as the Fundraising Regulators Code of Fundraising Practice as well as data protection laws. We do not conduct any outbound telemarketing or face-to-face fundraising.

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How we monitor fundraising

Age UK uses a broad variety of fundraising channels to engage our diverse supporter audiences to raise funds for the Charity and provide updates on the impact of donations. We also gratefully receive donations of clothes and goods to our shops. All fundraising activity is subject to an approval process that is supported by our Fundraising Compliance Manager and Legal team. The performance of fundraising campaigns and our third-party suppliers is regularly reviewed. We are consistently looking to hear feedback from supporters and internal and external stakeholders to deliver a high standard of performance and compliance.

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Protecting the privacy and data of our supporters

We remain committed to protecting and respecting the privacy of all our supporters. We have continued to work closely with our partners across the Age UK network to ensure that all individuals’ data is captured, stored, and used compliantly and with the utmost care. We have focused on strengthening the existing collaboration and processes with our suppliers and agencies in respect of personal data. We have also adjusted our privacy policy which we think better reflects the nature, scope, context, and purposes of processing that the organisation undertakes. The full version of our privacy policy can be found here

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Addressing people's concerns

In 2019/20 we received 690 complaints about our fundraising practices. We take all complaints seriously and respond to each one in line with our complaints policy. This year we saw an increase in complaints related to GDPR data issues, particularly our lottery and raffle fundraising. Our raffle and lottery operations have now been integrated within our fundraising department to ensure a more consistent supporter experience. Overall, the number of complaints we received when compared against our fundraising reach remains low, but we are aiming to reduce this further. One of these complaints in 2019/20 was referred to the Fundraising Regulator and required us to investigate and take further action to improve our fundraising practices around clothing bag collections. We identified shortcomings and have changed our approach to charity shop donations to both improve our supporters’ experiences and prevent the recurrence of this type of issue. No other matters were referred to the Fundraising Regulator this year.

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Protecting vulnerable people

Our policy on fundraising with people in vulnerable circumstances is followed by all our fundraisers. Our Fundraising Compliance Manager reviews all fundraising materials and provides training to our fundraisers, and those fundraising on our behalf, when required. In addition, we incorporate the Institute of Fundraising’s 'Treating donors fairly' guidance into our fundraising. We regularly review our fundraising marketing channels and propositions and take on feedback from our supporters and the public.

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Future fundraising

As the UK’s older population grows so too does the need for our work – and we plan to invest in our ability to fundraise so that we can continue to provide support to those in need and be a voice of older people.

Find out how you can help

Annual report

For more information about our work, read or download Age UK’s Report of Trustees and Annual Accounts for 2019/20.

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Last updated: May 05 2021

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