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RNLI - RNLI
Last updated September 2019

Donations rise following RNLI criticism

The Mail of Sunday’s criticism of RNLI spending money on overseas projects led to a Twitter backlash and might have boosted donations to the charity.

The newspaper published the article under the headline "RNLI buys burkinis for Africans as it axes 100 UK jobs". It highlighted how the RNLI's spending on foreign projects had increased from £1.1m to £3.3m over the past five years while the charity planned to shed 135 jobs in response to a fall of £7.2m in income in its 2018 accounts.
The RNLI issued a statement saying that less than 2% of its annual spending went on international drowning prevention activity. It said it worked with local partners on water safety projects, and the burkini initiative in Tanzania helped Muslim women learn to swim without compromising their religious and cultural beliefs. The statement added that all areas of the RNLI's work, including its international budget, were being assessed as part of its cost-reduction plans.
A spokesman for the RNLI said it was gathering information about the impact of the stories on donations in response to widespread support for the charity on social media. Many people took to Twitter to pledge donations using the hashtag #RNLI_disgrace.
Read: Third Sector - Mail on Sunday's criticism of RNLI might have boosted donations