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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Kiltwalk: only 29p in every pound raised went to charity last year

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​Annual report shows previous board struggled to manage operational costs

Just 29 pence in every pound raised by the Kiltwalk last year found its way to charities, its annual report reveals.

Despite raising over £1.9 million from the efforts of thousands of dedicated fundraisers, the charity – one of the nation’s best loved – only managed to donate £578,000 of this to its chosen causes.

The rest went on fundraising, salaries and administration costs, the report shows.

Accounts were filed for a seven month period last year - from 31 December 2014 to 31 August - during which just two events took place before the charity's board resigned.

They show the extent of the financial problems the Kiltwalk had become mired in, before its fortunes were turned around this year by a completely new management team.

Total staff costs were £372,000 – down from £402,000 in 2014 - with its chief executive earning close to £70,000 during this period.

Cost of raising funds was £1,338,000 which, after salaries are taken off, meant the organisation spent nearly £1m on fundraising and administration costs.

This included the cost of staging corporate events, equipment and marketing.

Sir Tom Hunter, the philanthropist and businessman, took over its running after the entire board resigned en-masse after negative publicity exposed the shortfall in charitable donations being made.

Since then, the Hunter Foundation - Sir Tom's charitable trust - has pledged to give every pound raised from Kiltwalks to the organisation’s chosen charities.

The Kiltwalk is now firmly back and making a very positive difference to the children and young people - Paul Cooney

Kiltwalk partners children’s groups and distributes funds to support their mission. Cash comes from an army of walkers and supporters who take part in its five walks around the country each year.

The entire proceeds of this year’s Glasgow event - £400,000 – has already been handed over to these charities.

In 2014 TFN revealed that the organisation gave only 47p in every pound to charity. Then midway through last year, the Kiltwalk cancelled the rest of its planned events for 2015, after new bosses revealed that any money raised would have to be spent on "operational costs" as it began to haemorrhage cash.

Shortly after the board decided to resign alongside its founder and chief executive Carey McEvoy – handing over the reins to the Hunter Foundation.

The trustees’ statement in the annual report states: “It is clear from 2016’s results so far – and from the ongoing commitment to underwrite all Kiltwalk costs – that it is set to be a very efficient method of fundraising in Scotland that realises the original visions of the founder and previous board.”

Paul Cooney, chief executive of the Kiltwalk, said the new board had turned round its fortunes and the event was proving to be more popular than ever.

He said: “That was then, this is now; all Kiltwalkers should be 100% assured that every penny, every pound they raise goes to the charity of their choice.

“Thanks to the hard work of our team and the dedication of all Kiltwalkers, the Kiltwalk is now firmly back and making a very positive difference to the children and young people it serves.”