Last week’s Emergency Appeal was tremendously inspiring and a huge shot in the arm! I personally found it very moving indeed; not only the fantastic level of support shown, but also all the amazing stories that so many of you shared. It really demonstrated the positive, transformative impact of the JST’s work across four decades on the high seas.
Without your generosity last week, the JST’s future would have been in serious jeopardy. We now need to sustain the momentum created by the success of the Emergency Appeal and work hard to secure the strongest possible future for our mission. It is clear that we cannot continue as we are, and need to make some radical decisions. Amongst many, some of the considerations include the number of ships in service, their programme (geographic footprint, active season etc), and our mix of activities (with the public and other partners).
Per the recent Trustees’ Statement, the executive team and a working group of Trustees are formulating various possible future scenarios as to how we can best proceed. We are then pressure testing these both internally and externally. The Board is meeting towards the end of next week (w.c. July 15th) with a view to discussing what we believe to be the best way forward for JST. An update will be shared publicly on Monday 22nd July.
Contributing to this process, we have been delighted to receive lots of ideas from many of our supporters. It is great to see the widespread commitment to helping JST find a sustainable and impactful future. Your thoughts continue to be welcome, so please send them to: firstname.lastname@example.org. All suggestions are being carefully reviewed, processed and factored into our thinking. Thank you!
A number of you have asked, quite understandably, why we have not immediately drawn down on the funds received and continue to ring-fence them. I want to provide a clear answer to this question.
As you would imagine, we have been taking restructuring advice over the past several months to ensure that the Trustees have acted appropriately in managing the JST’s on-going financial pressures. We now continue to take advice so we can act on last week’s success in the most responsible way possible, considering the needs of the JST’s creditors, donors and beneficiaries.
Reflecting this, the reason for the two-week “pause” before we call upon the Emergency Appeal funds is to allow the Board to update our plans, based on the fundraising appeal outcomes, and then pressure test them internally and externally. This will help us use the funds received in the most appropriate and impactful way.
To help facilitate this, a number of contributors to the appeal have kindly given us permission to use their donations to provide working capital for the next two weeks, so that we can do this without detriment to the JST’s activities or creditors.
Another factor is that we are also still in the process of receiving some of the larger donations, which have been pledged by individuals and institutions with more complex and lengthy processes for transferring funds. Most of the on-line donations, via Just Giving, have also not yet been received, as this happens on a fortnightly cycle by standard procedure.
Per the recent Trustees’ Statement, we expect to begin drawing down on the emergency appeal funds at the end of next week, once the aforementioned review process has been completed.
Thank you so much for your continued understanding and support.
Chairman of JST Trustees