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Fundraising for your local unit

Fundraising FAQ

About us

What has your charity done over the last 12 months that has made a difference?

In the past year, we enabled cadets to each achieve 26 hours of boating on the water – 1,500 cadets went offshore for a voyage of a lifetime, we delivered 8,574 waterbourne qualifications. We helped 84 units with maintenance and refurbishment grants with a value of £300k and helped another 80 units to make external grant applications to improve their buildings. We upgraded our boat station at Thrapston and completed plans and funding for a rebuild of our London boat station at Welsh Harp. We also successfully closed our new ship appeal to replace our ageing flagship TS Royalist, now over 40 years old having taken over 30,000 young people on a voyage of a lifetime and which epitomises being a Sea Cadet. We raised £4.8m and are looking forward to welcoming the new flagship in 2015.

We also worked on joint initiatives with the Government to expand the impact of our work in schools and academies so that more young people can benefit from what we offer, focussing on 15 particularly challenging UK areas.



How much income does your charity raise in a year?

In the past year (2013 - 14), our estimated income was £20.7m and our total estimated expenditure was £19.4m, with 93% going on Sea Cadet activity.

Our Report and Accounts 2013/14 shows the split of our fundraising income streams, showing that our income comes from a range of statutory, individual and corporate sources.

Our income sources: grants, donations, gifts in Wills and other fundraising, trading including shops, investments and property.

Why does Sea Cadets receive money from the Royal Navy?

We receive about £9m in funding from the Royal Navy, which is about 50% of our income. We have a long established relationship with the Royal Navy who are our largest, committed supporter. However, we are an independent charity and structured differently to the other cadet forces and in addition to the money we receive from the RN we need to fundraise independently to support our work with young people in 400 units across the UK. In addition each Sea Cadet unit is an independent charity raising additional funds for their running costs over and above what the parent charity provides to them.

Why do we prefer people to make regular gifts?

Regular gifts mean that we have a consistent, predictable income, so we can plan and budget better and help the greatest number of children and young people possible.

In turn, this long-term security enables us to respond to situations as soon as they arise, and the income to carry on with our existing work whether issues are receiving media coverage or not.

Regular gifts also mean lower administration costs and cheaper bank charges so that even more of your money goes to our work.

Also, continuing donor support helps us balance the higher costs of securing new donors and to recoup supporter recruitment costs quicker.

How can £2 a month or small one-off donations really make a difference?

£2 a month may seem like a small amount, but over many months and with lots of people giving similar amounts, the combined effect can be very large and have a substantial impact. Not everyone can afford to give large amounts, but when many individuals give small one off donations, such as £15, they add up to a substantial contribution.



How much of my donation goes on fundraising/administration?

We are quite clear about how much we spend on fundraising and support – vital areas which ensure our continued existence and effectiveness.

Out of every £1 we spend, 92p goes towards our work with Sea Cadets.

In order to secure these vital donations, it is necessary to spend money on fundraising.

Why do you spend so much money sending mailings asking for a donation?

We use mailings to reach the donors and supporters without whom we could not fund all our vital work. Mailings are a cost-effective and efficient method of reaching a large audience, and are successful in maximising the amount of money raised for our work young people.

How much of my donation actually goes to the cause (that the project or appeal advertises)?

This depends on the individual project or appeal and it should be made clear in the materials you read or the conversation you had.

We do have an obligation under the 1992 Charities Act to ensure that your donation goes to the work that it was asked for, unless stated otherwise.

In some instances, we use a specific project to illustrate our work in an area, with funds raised going to support our work in similar projects working on the same issues. Equally, we may use a case study of one child to illustrate our work with many children. Funds raised go to wherever the need is greatest.


Feedback & Complaints

How to make a complaint

We take complaints very seriously and we treat them as an opportunity to develop. This is why we are always very grateful to hear from people who are willing to take the time to help us improve. We always thank people who contact us about their problems, concerns or worries.

You can call us 020 7654 7000 and speak to our Company Secretary Mark Hallam. Please ring during Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. Outside of these hours you can always leave us a message and a contact number and someone will return your call.

You can email us at

Or you can write to us at:

Sea Cadets
202 Lambeth Road

Please include your name, address and contact telephone number in your email or letter so that we can get back in touch with you easily.

Sea Cadets is a member of the Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB) and is committed to the highest standards in fundraising practice. If your complaint is to do with fundraising and you feel that it has been unresolved by us then the FRSB can investigate your complaint.

You must contact them within two months of receiving your response from us.

Fundraising Standards Board
65 Brushfield Street
E1 6AA 

Tel: 0845 402 5442

Call us on +44 (0)20 7654 7000 or email for more information

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Patron: HM The Queen
A charity registered in England and Wales 313013 and in Scotland SC037808