The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has enjoyed a surge in donations after Daily Mail readers boycotted the charity for its work helping to save people from drowning abroad.
A story by Michael Powell for the Mail on Sunday prompted a huge backlash on social media after it was found £3.3 million a year was spent on projects in Asia and Africa.
Tory MP Nigel Evans was quoted in the piece saying it was “risking the reputation of the charity”, and many others echoed his angst.
Stem the tide
But following a robust reaction from the RNLI there has been a surge in donations from people hoping to stem the tide.
An RNLI spokesperson said: “In response to the recent media pieces about the lifesaving work we are doing overseas, we have been very encouraged to see a sharp increase in online donations, coupled with some very positive messages of support.
“But this is such a polarising issue, and we have also received some very negative responses, including people contacting our supporter care team requesting to withdraw or reduce their support for the charity.
“The volume of responses we have received on this matter is vast and ongoing – the overall picture is changing constantly at the moment, so it may be several weeks before we have a full understanding of its impact on donations to the RNLI.”
Site has crashed
On Twitter, one donor said: “They have had so many donations the site has crashed. It took me a while yesterday to make my donation but it went through in the end.”
Another added: “My monthly DD [direct debit] starts this month. You’ll come out of this stronger and more respected than ever.”
The RNLI tweeted: “Thank you to everyone who has sent messages of support and made donations to us over the past 24 hours – we simply couldn’t save lives without our amazing supporters.”