Our mission, thanks to our comedy heritage and the fantastic relationship we enjoy with the BBC, is 'positive change through the power of entertainment'.
And our biggest tool, in trying to achieve these two goals, is the ability to inspire people across the whole country especially those who don’t normally do charity - to do charity.
As the world has changed and become more complex over the last two decades, so Comic Relief has had to adapt and change too but the fundamentals remain the same - a just world free from poverty. In trying to achieve that vision we make this promise to the people who make those efforts possible - our supporters:
"In order to run itself in a professional and effective way Comic Relief incurs necessary costs. Raising funds, making grants and organisational overheads cost real money.
Despite these costs, Comic Relief is still able to promise that for every pound the charity gets directly from the public, a pound goes to help transform the lives of people living with poverty and social injustice. If Sport Relief raises £20 million, Comic Relief will spend at least £20 million doing just that.
It can make this promise because its operating budget is covered in cash or in kind from all types of supporters like corporate sponsors and donors, suppliers, generous individuals and government (including Gift Aid) as well as from investment income and interest"
AND IF YOU'VE GOT A FEW MINUTES TO SPARE HERE'S THE MORE DETAILED ANSWER:
Comic Relief is obviously a charity - but it's also a business too.
The money we raise is allocated to a wide range of grants and social investments aimed at delivering real and long-lasting change to the poorest, most vulnerable people at home and across the world; as well as informing the public and young people in particular about global citizenship and the underlying causes of extreme poverty.
That money comes in from a number of different sources. Traditional charitable fundraising obviously plays a vital role. The public contribute to Comic Relief's annual campaigns by raising money through sponsorship and by making donations online, by post, by telephone and through major banks and building societies. This support, from almost the very day Comic Relief was formed, has been both humbling and inspirational.
On the business side of things, Comic Relief works with key corporate partners to produce products and promotions that are profitable. The clearest example of this is the Red Nose that is the emblem of Red Nose Day.
Where possible these products tie-in with the charity's commitment to delivering benefits to poor farmers and producers. The Red Nose Day 2007 T-shirt for instance was made with fair trade cotton from Mali, Cameroon and Senegal and there will be a fair trade Maraba Bourbon coffee grown in Rwanda, a country to which Comic Relief has had a clear commitment since the appalling genocide of 1994.
Another way Comic Relief raises funds is via the creativity made available to the charity. Comedians from time to time offer access to key brands like Little Britain for commercial exploitation. The charity also develops and owns key sub-brands like Robbie the Reindeer and Monkey, both of which deliver a revenue too.