How successful has the UK's Red Nose Day been over the years?

2 Answers

Tim O'Shea Profile
Tim O'Shea answered

Since its inception in 1988 the charity behind Red Nose Day has raised over £800m for a range of charitable projects across 70 countries. Red Nose day is the main fund raising event for the British charity Comic Relief, a charitable trust.  Comic Relief was founded in 1985 by the comedy scriptwriter Richard Curtis and Lenny Henry.

The Red Nose day annual summed total is £620.03 Million but Comic Relief claim to have raised over £800m but includes funds from other sources.

Comic Relief Results 1988 to 2011

(Year :: Funds Raised :: Growth From Previous Event)

1988 £15,000,000

1989 £26,900,000 79%

1991 £20,000,000 -26%

1993 £18,000,000 -10%

1995 £22,000,000 22%

1997 £27,000,000 23%

1999 £35,000,000 30%

2001 £55,000,000 57%

2003 £61,600,000 12%

2005 £65,000,000 6%

2007 £67,700,000 4%

2009 £82,300,00 22%

2011 £108,436,277 32%

Kathryn Wright Profile
Kathryn Wright , Lover of fancy dress and undertaking silly actions for charity fundraising, answered

Since Red Nose Day began life in 1985 as Comic Relief it has enjoyed a steady increase in its success raising great sums of money.

In 1988 the first official Red Nose Day, £15,000 was raised.

in 2011 £75,000 was raised. At 5 times the original amount that's a great result. To put it into context, average wages only trebled in that same time, and we were in a recession in 2011. I wonder what compelled people to give more? The sympathy with feeling poor, or the higher need to feel happy by doing something towards the greater good.

What is Red Nose Day?

For those from outside the UK, Red Nose Day was started by British Film director Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Bridget Jones) and Lenny Henry, a comedian from the Midlands. They wanted to use humor and their fame fueled audience to draw attention to fundraising to combat famine and poverty. The mission of Comic Relief is

"A just World free from poverty"  Wouldn't that be fantastic?

What do people do for Comic Relief?

I remember going to school in fancy dress, with my hair sprayed red like a punk, being able to wear jeans to school. More recently people raise money by

  • Getting into a bath full of beans for an hour - awful
  • Skydiving or swimming the Channel
  • Shaving off all their hair or dying it red
  • Marathons or other physical challenges
  • This year, wearing onesies to work seems a popular choice!

The organizers have made doing something for charity simple, fun and easy by producing t-shirts and Red Noses that can be bought at most retail stores and supermarkets. Making this easy seems to be a winning formula. They work on the principle, if everyone in just the UK gave just £1, in no time at all they would raise £63 million pounds!

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