Founded by the Duke of Wellington in 1831, the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) is the world’s oldest and the UK’s leading defence and security think tank. Throughout our long history, we have built a reputation as a trusted authority on defence and security the world over. In recent years, RUSI’s geographical and thematic scope has expanded to reflect the challenges of the twenty-first century – from the changing character of war, to online radicalisation, to the rise of China.
We have always been fiercely independent, because only this can ensure rigorous thinking.
But free thinking doesn’t come free. We have not received a core subvention from the UK government since the early 1980s, and depend entirely on independently-raised revenue and philanthropy.
Now we need to realise the potential of RUSI’s crown jewel, our building at 61 Whitehall. We need to make the most of its location, its history, and thus its convening power.
We need to bring ‘home’ RUSI’s research staff and release the money now spent on renting external offices. We need to take RUSI into an even brighter future. And we need your help to do that.
RUSI’s research addresses a number of critical issues.
Research projects for 2021 are focussed on:
- Air Power and Technology
- Policing and Security
- Cyber Security
- UK Defence Policy
- Risk and Resilience
- Organised Crime
- New Silk Road
- Martial Power
- Counter-Proliferation Finance
- UK Project on Nuclear Issues
- Radicalisation and Countering Violent Extremism
Areas of Expertise include:
- Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies
- Leadership Centre
- Defence, Industries and Society
- National Security and Resilience Studies
- International Security Studies
- Military Sciences
- Proliferation and Nuclear Policy
Recent events RUSI hosted at 61 Whitehall,
addressed these subjects:
- US/Russia relations
- Anti-money laundering
- Cyber crime
- Wildlife trafficking
- The War in the Eastern Ukraine
- Israel, Iran and Russia
- Virtual currencies
Our expertise is sought at the highest level in the UK and across the globe, including:
UK government departments and agencies
- Senior Officials and Ministers in Cabinet Office (including National Security Council and Joint Intelligence Committee), 10 Downing Street, Ministry of Defence, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Department for International Development, Home Office, Department for Exiting the European Union, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
- UK military services, including British Army, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and Joint Forces Command, as well as Special Forces
- Intelligence Services (MI5, MI6, GCHQ, Defence Intelligence)
- Defence Committee
- Foreign Affairs Committee
- Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy
Multilateral agencies (EU, UN, NATO, OECD, Europol)Governments and Countries outside Europe
Governments in Europe and further afield
- United States (National Security Council, State Department, Pentagon, intelligence community)
- Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Norway and many others
Private sector organisations
Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter (lead on the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism), numerous banks, law firms, defence industry, and others.
61 Whitehall is a magnificent building, situated next to Banqueting House and the Ministry of Defence, close to Downing Street, and within a stone’s throw of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the Houses of Parliament. Combine the proximity and prestige of the location with RUSI’s standing and you have incredible convening power, bringing those working in government, security agencies and the armed forces together with research institutes, the private sector and other professional bodies.
But increasingly, the deteriorating fabric of the building has negatively impacted that convening power. The infamous instance of Henry Kissinger and John Major being stuck in the lift together for 25 minutes dramatises the severity of the problem.
Time To Bring A Late 19th-Century Building Into The 21st Century
We own 61 Whitehall. It is a magnificent Grade II* listed building, designed for a think tank to prosper in the late 19th century. We now need to make it fit for purpose for the 21st century.
In 2015 we acquired the freehold of 61 Whitehall, and in 2018 received planning permission for the bold, but sympathetic, redevelopment you will see on subsequent pages.
The planned renovation will:
- Restore 61 Whitehall’s original heritage features to a high standard
- Add state-of-the-art conference, media and meeting rooms
- Renovate and upgrade the library
- Add to and extend the space available for learning
- Redevelop and extend the upper floors of the building
The effect will be to breathe new life into a very special building, allowing us to attract larger numbers of influential people and the public through our doors. It will also accommodate all RUSI researchers, saving, at least, £300,000 a year in rent and costs.
We need your help to meet the complex challenges our world is facing. We need to do more to fulfil our potential. We need to add resources in all aspects of our organisation. Above all, we need to immediately improve our home in the heart of Whitehall.
The costs of the redevelopment: are £10 million. We invite your support, to help RUSI fill its essential role, which will not only bring immediate benefits to RUSI’s mission, but also strengthen its long-term future. RUSI makes a vital contribution to the world’s security. You can make a vital contribution to RUSI’s future.
RUSI’s role as an independent, world-class think tank on security and defence has never been more needed. A more multi-polar world, new technological dangers and opportunities, and unresolved conflicts in many regions all point to a growing demand for well-informed and unbiased assessments of options and trends. RUSI will be there to deliver them.
But a crucial factor that has been holding us back has been the deteriorating condition of our landmark headquarters building, 61 Whitehall. Our researchers had to move to other offices five years ago, due to the sub-standard quality of accommodation, and the lack of space due to its configuration. This would be remedied under the proposed development programme, allowing our team to be in one place, and saving us £300,000 a year in rent. Just as important will be a return to using the full convening power of the building, its impressive presence at the heart of Whitehall acting as a magnet for some of the most important actors in the security and defence arena.
We have planning permission. Now we need the funds to meet the costs of the redevelopment: £10 million. We invite your support, which will not only bring immediate benefits to RUSI’s mission, but also strengthen its long-term future. RUSI makes a vital contribution to the world’s security.
Sir David Lidington: Chairman, RUSI
Sir Mick Davis: Campaign Chairman
Sir John Scarlett: Vice-Chairman, RUSI
Dr Karin Von Hippel: Director-General, RUSI
Fundraising for the restoration, redevelopment and modernisation of our building at 61 Whitehall, is going well. With the superb leadership of Sir David Lidington, Sir John Scarlett, Sir Mick Davis and Dr Karin von Hippel, to date just shy of £7 million has been secured. This means that nearly 70% of the appeal has been raised. As a result of the fundraising success to date, building works commenced on site in January.
2021 has also begun with wonderful news that RUSI has secured a gift of £2 million. This is the single largest gift in RUSI’s history. More details will be announced in due course.
RUSI is indebted to The Exilarch’s Foundation, The Starr International Foundation, The Law Family Charitable Foundation, The Garfield Weston Foundation, Sir Mick Davis, Mr Laurence Geller, Hintze Family Charitable Foundation, Google, His Grace the Duke of Wellington and many others, for their generous support.
CAN YOU HELP RUSI WITH ITS FUNDRAISING ?
For more information on how you can assist RUSI raise the remaining £3.15 million, please contact:
Director of Development
RUSI is a registered charity in the UK – charity number 210639. To see the annual reports click here.
As a registered charity, UK tax payers are welcome to sign a Gift Aid form (which will be provided by RUSI). By signing this form, any donation received will increase by 25% in value at no additional cost to the donor. Higher-rate (40%) and additional-rate (45%) tax payers can claim back the difference between the basic rate of tax (20%) and the rate of tax they paid on the money they earned to make the gift. For example, a higher-rate taxpayer who donates £1,000 to RUSI, will mean RUSI will receive £1,250 and the donor can claim back £250. So the donation worth £1,250 has cost the donor £750.
You may also wish to consider donating shares, equity or stock to RUSI as this is extraordinarily tax efficient. There is no capital gains tax liability either for the donor(or the charity) and there is no income tax, as the full cost of the shares can be deducted from taxable income when submitting a tax return.
US citizens are welcome to make tax-efficient donations. RUSI is registered in the USA. RUSI’s IRS-approved charitable foundation is a 501(c)(3). It is listed as ‘RUSI US Foundation’ and its registered number is EIN 72-1374719. The address for the RUSI US Foundation is Franklin Square, 1300 I Street NW, Suite 400E, Washington DC 20005
RUSI is grateful for all donations received. All donations are formally acknowledged, recorded and valued. Donors will receive information on how their donation(s) have been used and RUSI staff will happily make themselves available to talk about their research and work. RUSI’s annual report and financial statements are always available for reading and scrutiny.
Some donors, particularly those who give at a very generous level, may have an interest in naming opportunities. This might be linked to naming RUSI’s building at 61 Whitehall, the prestigious library, the main lecture theatre, the grand committee rooms or one of RUSI’s research programmes. More information about these opportunities is available from Paul Summerfield, RUSI’s Director of Development. He can be contacted at PaulS@rusi.org
Donors and potential donors are also likely to be invited to one or a number of interesting and private events, in-person and online. In the last 18 months these have included dinners hosted by RUSI’s Chairman and featured speakers from the British and French intelligence service, high ranking politicians, diplomats and military leaders, as well as well known writers. Events have been held at RUSI’s iconic building in Whitehall, as well as Buckingham Palace and Apsley House (the home of the 9th Duke of Wellington).