A future built on trust
Last October we began a journey with our supporters asking them to opt in to receiving future communications from us. We gave our supporters the opportunity to restate their commitment to us, and show them that our relationship with them is of great value, and built on trust. GDPR has enabled us to increase transparency with our supporters.
The results have been positive and encouraging: over 91% of those responding said "yes" to hearing from us through at least one channel, and the number opting in is growing all the time. We launched our opt-in project to new audiences in January through Big Garden Birdwatch and again saw fantastic numbers of people saying yes to hearing from us.
This process has given a real indication of the strength of the relationship we have with our members and supporters. It’s quite a bland topic, but one that is fundamentally important to the future of the RSPB and so it’s been wonderful to see the level of engagement it has received. It’s also fantastic to know that we have a solid network of support for our future conservation work.
Support all over the country
Our membership number continues to be another source of pride for us. We currently have 1,219,308 members and over the year we have seen more than 87% of our members stay with us and continue to help our work.
But the support we receive goes well beyond membership – up and down the country people are buying from RSPB shops, volunteering on our reserves, taking part in Big Garden Birdwatch and donating to appeals.
We have run three major appeals this year, to raise funds to protect Sherwood Forest, to add 67 hectares to Arne in Dorset, and to support our coastal and seabird work. Together these appeals raised more than £820,000, and we are very grateful to everyone who donated to ensure these projects could come to fruition.
It all helps give nature a home
Some of the other highlights of the year were sales from our trading arm, and welcoming new life fellows. RSPB Sales made a profit of £4.2 million, which has gone directly to our conservation work, and 954 people became life fellows in this financial year, pledging a lifelong commitment to saving nature.
Our pin badges might be small but in terms of revenue they are definitely mighty. This year, for the first time ever, income from the sale of badges raised over £1 million. More than 7,000 venues across the UK host our badges, enabling our brand to reach a wide range of communities. We couldn’t be prouder of our network of 1,600 volunteers who look after pin badge boxes across the UK.
A big “thank you” to our supporters
But there’s more to life at the RSPB than headline financial figures. What makes us strong is you, our members and supporters.
We love to hear from you and over the last financial year our Supporter Services team responded to more than 160,000 queries and requests from supporters and the public via telephone, post, email and social media. This includes questions about our work and reserves, the environment, wildlife crime and wildlife gardening, along with requests to do with memberships, contact details, bank details, communication preferences and donations.
We’re incredibly proud of our members and supporters. However you help us, thank you. couldn't do what we do without you.