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How we govern ourselves and spend the money we receive

Some frequently asked questions...

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What is WWF-UK's investment policy

Our investment policy is to maintain the real value of our investments and to maximise income by way of a diversified portfolio consistent with the Trustees’ legal powers and duties. This is underpinned by our socially responsible investment policy, which promotes the principles of sustainable development and improvements to the environment.

To find out more, please read our Annual Report.

How does WWF-UK work with the corporate sector?

We believe passionately that in order to address the huge challenge of moving towards a global, sustainable future, we must work with companies to help them lessen their impact and embed sustainability at the heart of their business.

It is simply not enough to only work with companies that are already doing everything right. We must be willing to form challenging and constructive relationships with the companies that are able to drive real change in global markets and our priority eco-regions.

Doesn’t working with big business compromise WWF's position as an independent conservation organisation?

No. In fact, we believe it is quite the opposite. It is imperative for us to work with business and industry if we are serious about achieving our mission. We can support companies that are doing the right thing and influence companies that need to change their practices. By combining our strengths we can drive real, lasting change in the global markets and our priority eco-regions.

A list of current partnership with can be found here.

How can I make sure my donation is safe?

A. The Fraud Advisory Panel and Charity Finance Group have produced a guide to giving safely aimed at individual charitable donors in the UK. It provides practical advise to giving safely and avoiding potential scams to ensure your donations reach WWF and other charities you support.

What do you do with the money that I give to WWF?

  • 57% of our income goes directly on conservation programmes
  • 26% is spent on the cost of generating funds - for every £1 spent, £4 is generated
  • 12% on communicating and influencing
  • 3% on gifts in kind
  • 2% is spent on our governance and monitoring systems, which ensure we remain accountable
You can be sure we're always looking at ways of cutting our administrative costs and overheads wherever possible, especially in tight financial times.

How much of my donation goes on fundraising and administration?

A. We're quite clear about how much goes on fundraising and support. Like any other kind of organisation, charities have support and income-raising costs to ensure their existence and effectiveness.

We are constantly working to maximize the money going to our conservation action around the world – whether it's paying for highly skilled field conservationists, or professional lobbyists in the corridors of power.

More than 180,000 charities in the UK complete with us for your funding and attention, so we also invest in communicators and fundraising staff to keep the spotlight on the vitally important work we are doing and ensure the money keeps flowing in.

Fundraising costs ensure we survive. In order to secure income to achieve our work it is necessary to spend money on communicating our need for funds. These fundraising costs vary depending on who the organisation is asking (government, private individuals, companies or foundations). We seek to raise funds from a variety of sources in order to maximise the amounts of money raised and reduce reliance on a small number of funders, who could pull out leaving the charity in difficulty.

Support costs ensure we are effective. To ensure as much money as possible goes to the cause, charities have to be efficient and manage their organisations very effectively. The support costs spent on IT, HR, finance, planning and project management ensures the charity's infrastructure supports its aims and delivery.

Why do you prefer people to make regular gifts?

A. Regular gifts mean charities have a consistent, predictable income, so we can plan and budget better and therefore be more efficient.

Regular gifts give long-term security and enable short-term response. They give security and confidence to react to situations as soon as they arise; and the income to carry on with our work whether issues are receiving media coverage or not.

Regular gifts mean less spent on support costs. Regular gifts also mean lower support costs and cheaper bank charges so that more of your money goes to our work.

Ongoing support helps us recoup the higher costs of securing new donors. Securing new donors' support is crucial to allow the charity to keep functioning. However, there is a certain cost associated with reaching those donors. If people commit to giving regularly for a year or more, charities will recoup those costs.

How is WWF regulated?

WWF is a registered charity in England & Wales (1081247) and in Scotland (SCO39593).  We are regulated by the Charity Commission and Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) who register and regulate charities.  The Charity Commission ensure trustees comply with their legal obligations in managing charities and identify and investigte abuse and mismanagement in charities.

For more information about how charities are regulated in the UK, vist the Charity Commission and OSCR websites.

How is WWF governed?

WWF-UK has a Board of Trustees which is legally responsible for all the activities that the organisation undertakes.

The Trustees are all unpaid volunteers who are responsible for ensuring that WWF-UK abides by its charitable aims; works within the law, delivers its mission and monitors and evaluates effectively.

You can find out more about the Board of Trustees or the governance of WWF-UK by clicking on the related links.

Where does WWF get its money from?

The majority of our income comes from public donations in the form of memberships, adoptions and legacies.  You can see a detailed breakdown of our income in our Annual Review.

I wish to make a complaint or give feedback about WWF-UK

Your views are very important to us and we take any feedback we receive very seriously. If you are unhappy with any aspect of our work, we would like to hear about it. We appreciate the opportunity your comments give us to learn and improve.

Our commitment to you

  • We will, at all times, treat your complaints seriously
  • We will treat your complaints with sensitivity, discretion and understanding
  • We will respond to your complaint as quickly as we can. This will normally be within 3 working days, but if it is going to take longer, we will let you know and keep you updated.
Learn more about how we manage our complaints 

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