Message from our Chief Executive
I would like to open by saying a big big thank you to all of our supporters and sponsors for their fantastic support during 2012. Despite the ongoing poor economic climate your continued generosity has resulted in The Donkey Sanctuary achieving its highest ever annual income total and consequently we have expended even more on our work worldwide.
We had entered 2012 with some uncertainty. It was the first full year without our beloved founder, Dr Elisabeth Svendsen MBE, who had sadly passed away the previous May; we had merged our smaller sister charity the Elisabeth Svendsen Trust for Children and Donkeys (EST) into The Donkey Sanctuary; the economy was poor and the survival of the Euro appeared in jeopardy. Yet despite all these concerns we were able to carry out all of our planned activities and in fact we feel confident enough about the future to expand our operations internationally.
In summary our income for the year was £27.1 million, up £1.3 million (5%) on 2011 on a like for like basis. Our expenditure was £26.3 million versus £24.3 in 2011, with only 14 pence in the pound being spent on fundraising and governance.
Unfortunately in Ireland we continue to see a large number of donkeys being abandoned mainly by unscrupulous breeders and dealers. Whilst we still have some space to take in donkeys and mules in need it is getting tougher as this poor economic climate continues. This has resulted in a push during 2013 to increase the number of donkeys going out to loving foster homes. Surprisingly the number of donkeys relinquished to us on the continental European mainland has remained lowerthan expected.
Throughout 2012 we worked either directly, or with like minded animal welfare partners, in 27 countries around the world, most in the developing nations. Within our own projects we reached over 400,000 donkeys through our fixed base and mobile veterinary clinics and through our community education programme we now believe that we reach areas where circa 1,000,000 donkeys can be found. All of our veterinary interventions and community education activities are treated as a teaching opportunity to veterinarians, veterinary students, owners, handlers, children and the community in general.
Specific focus is being given to harnesses and harness making, hoof care and equine dentistry. The correct attention in these three areas alone can significantly improve the life of the donkeys and through this the lives of their owners and handlers.
The integration of the formerly named EST into the work of the charity went very smoothly. We renamed the activities at the six centres in the United Kingdom “donkey assisted therapy” and rebranded each centre: The Donkey Sanctuary – assisted therapy unit. All are open seven days a week to the public, to enable people not only to visit the donkeys, but also to see the very rewarding work of donkeys improving the lives of and bringing so much enjoyment to children and adults with additional needs. The donkeys also benefit from the activity they so obviously enjoy.
Now entering a sixth year of economic hardship we have come to the conclusion that it is going to remain difficult for some years to come and that our strategy going forward must recognise this. At the same time we look to expand our operations internationally, in an effort to grow our sphere of influence as the Centre of Excellence for donkeys and mules around the world. In some areas we are also looking into how we can enhance the value of the donkey by introducing donkey assisted therapy activities for children and adults with additional needs in countries where severe hardship is already a major part of everybody’s life. We do believe that donkey numbers being relinquished to us in the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe will start to diminish as was seen in 2012 and was the experience prior to the economic downturn that started towards the end of 2007. This will enable us to concentrate on many more of the 50 million plus donkeys and mules in need around the world.
We could not carry on helping hundreds of thousands of donkeys and mules worldwide each year without your continued support and generosity, for which all of us here at The Donkey Sanctuary sincerely thank you. We know it is all worthwhile when we read your letters, emails and Facebook and Twitter comments and when others in the world of animal welfare give you recognition for the contribution you make to improve the lives of animals worldwide. This was demonstrated recently when The Donkey Sanctuary was awarded the Carole Noon Award for Sanctuary Excellence by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, the first time awarded to a United Kingdom charity. Thank you so much.
|Annual Review 2011 (PDF)||2.44 MB|
|Annual Review 2010 (PDF)||6.57 MB|
|Annual Review 2009 (PDF)||1.75 MB|