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Raising money

Thanks to the efforts of our amazing community, we raised £13.0 million (2018/19: £13.2m) to continue our work to beat blood cancer during 2019/20.

This accounted for the vast majority of our total income of £14.5 million (2018/19: 15.3m); the rest of it came from things like trading and investments.

We had hoped to increase the amount we raised in 2019/20, but ended the year raising slightly less. This was partly because it took longer than expected to set up new community groups (we only set up 13 out of a target of 30) and to start our lottery, and then in March the coronavirus pandemic began to impact on our income.

A big focus over the last year was creating a wider range of ways people can support us. We launched Fundraise Your Way, a programme that gives a range of fundraising ideas. We also launched a fundraising quiz that people can organise and a guide to holding fundraising brunches, and towards the end of the year we started to plan how we can do more online fundraising in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Our running events had a good year, with our runners in the London Marathon, London Landmarks and the Great North Run raising more than expected. We also saw a significant increase in funding from pharmaceutical companies and were awarded our biggest ever multi-year grant - £1.1 million for a new clinical trial into a rare type of blood cancer. We also built new relationships with funding institutions, which has put us in a good position to access emergency funding grants during the coronavirus pandemic.

We also relaunched our online shop, which is now easier to use and has a better range of products. Sales have been higher than we expected, with our wedding favours and Christmas products particularly successful (and since the coronavirus pandemic our facemasks and shielding badges have been incredibly popular).

Our Christmas appeal was our most successful in recent years, and included a message from Sylvia Gaunt, whose parents set up our charity after the death of her sister, Susan. Our annual Christmas concert at the Royal Albert Hall was another great night, with Pixie Lott, Rick Astley and Lee Mead among those kindly giving their time for free to perform on the night.

Last year also saw the end of an 18-month run for Calendar Girls the Musical, which raised an amazing £200,000.