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Christian Aid income fell by £13m during Covid-19

18 Jan 2022 News

Income and spending both fell sharply at Christian Aid last year, according to the charity’s latest financial accounts.

Christian Aid’s income dropped by £13m in the year to March 2020-21 compared with 2019-20, while expenditure fell more than £16m, the accounts show.

The annual report, which was published last month, shows that income from Christian Aid Week was down by nearly 50% compared with 2020, although legacy income rose by around 10%.

The accounts cover 12 months when Covid-19 rules meant that the charity’s fundraising events and aid programmes overseas were restricted. This created “an extremely challenging context” for staff, the report says.

£4m from Christian Aid Week

Christian Aid raised £86.4m last year, compared with £99.5m in 2019-20. It spent £89.2m, down from £105.7m.

Christian Aid Week, held in May 2020, when the country was in national lockdown, raised £4.1m, compared with £7.6m in 2019. Chief executive Amanda Khozi Mukwashi, writing in the introduction to the accounts, said that this was still far more than the charity’s “pandemic-adjusted target”, which forecast that the week’s fundraising might only be worth £1m.

Khozi Mukwashi also thanked staff who agreed to go on furlough or reduce their hours during the Covid-19 crisis, which she said saved the charity £2.3m during the year. The charity furloughed more than 100 employees at different times during the scheme.

Income from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office rose significantly, from £3.3m in 2019-20 to £7.2m in 2020-21, although overall the charity earned less from government contracts.

Legacy income grew from £10.7m to £12.2m. The accounts note that a further £16m from legacies has been committed to the charity but has not yet been received by Christian Aid, including “a single, very generous” donation of over £5m.

Staff numbers fall

Christian Aid cut spending on staff salaries in the UK and overseas from £32m to £26m, with the total number of people employed also falling, from 963 to 866.

The accounts show that Khozi Mukwashi earned slightly less than the previous year at £127,900.

Reserves rose slightly and stand at more than £21m, after the charity moved around £1m out of the reserves to fund charitable activities.

Christian Aid has now “substantially completed” a restructure begun in 2019, which aimed to cut its cost base by around £7m over three years.

Upheavals

Writing in the introduction to the accounts, Rowan Williams, the chair of Christian Aid’s trustees and former archbishop of Canterbury, said that “it has been a challenging period, and as an organisation we have had to weather many upheavals, internal and external”.

Williams said that the charity’s work during Christian Aid Week had “exceeded all expectations” and thanked staff and volunteers for “their commitment to our vision, mission and values”.

This is the second year in a row the charity has recorded a significant drop in income, which also fell by around £14m in 2019-20.

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