Our Finances

Comic Relief has formal policies relating to its investments, its reserves and its grant making which govern the way we operate our core business. We are committed to allocating all the money raised during Red Nose Day before the next Red Nose Day two years later. And we take the same approach with Sport Relief.

Donation journey

Throughout our campaigns, the public help us raise a huge amount of money to help communities across the UK and around the world

After the show, money from public fundraisingkeeps coming in and is added to the total. We use this to give grants to thousands of charities working in the UK and across the world.

It takes two years to allocate all the money raised. This means projects have time to apply for a grant, and gives us time to check we only fund the best applications.

We phase the payments to projects who provide regular updates before we give them more money, so we know they are making great progress and spending it as agreed.

While the cash is waiting to be paid out, we invest it.

The return generated from investment helps pay our running costs, so that the money donated directly by the public goes towards helping the people who need it most.

Our grants money isn’t paid out all at once because some of the grants we give last for a long time – up to six years – and we need to make sure the money is being spent as we agreed. That’s why we phase the payments and ask the organisations to report on what they’re doing with the money before the next payment is made.

And while we're waiting to pay all those charities and organisations their next instalments, we have a lot of money waiting to go out. We invest that money to try and make it into even more money. That’s why we have a team of the UK's best financial experts advising us how to invest that money wisely. To ensure that our investments do not conflict with our grant making, we do not invest in companies that manufacture armaments or tobacco products, or whose primary business is adult entertainment or the manufacture of alcohol products. You can find out more about our investment approach in our Annual Report and Accounts.

The additional money we make is then spent on running Comic Relief and making sure we can create another standout campaign the following year, and raise even more for the thousands of projects we support across the UK and the world’s poorest communities. We have other money to help run ourselves too – some is from corporate partners, some is from the Government and some is from other income sources.

Operating Income and Expenditure statement:

"In order to run itself in a professional and effective way Comic Relief incurs necessary costs. Raising funds, making grants and organisational overheads cost real money.

Despite these costs, Comic Relief is committed to making sure that every pound the charity gets directly from the public is a pound that goes towards helping transform the lives of people dealing with poverty and social injustice. This includes the cost of making sure that our grants are allocated to good projects and properly monitored and evaluated.

While the economic environment remains challenging, we are fortunate to be in a position where all other Comic Relief costs relating to fundraising and organisational overheads, continue to be covered in cash or in kind from all types of supporters like corporate sponsors and donors, suppliers, generous individuals and government (including Gift Aid) as well as from investment income and interest."

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