ActionAid’s income falls by 10 per cent

26 Jun 2019 News

ActionAid’s overall income fell 9.9 per cent between 2017 and 2018 to under £50m, with the charity saying Brexit was partly to blame. 

Overall income dropped to £49.6m in 2018 from £55m in 2017, continuing a trend which saw an 8.9 per cent drop from 2016, according to ActionAid's annual report and financial statements filed with Companies House earlier this week. 

Grant income fell from £12.1m to £7.3m because of difficulties replacing grants that ended in 2017 and 2018.

There was a £2.1m fall in income from the European Union, with ActionAid unable to lead consortia bids for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations projects and “more cautious” about European Commission bids.

The charity said £3.4m was lost in income due to “significant distraction” in UK government departments over Brexit, which meant major grants ending in 2018 had not been replaced.

The annual report says: “Growing our restricted income is central to our new strategy and so investment continues in this area, with more focus on preparing the organisation for bidding for commercial contracts.”

Fundraising complaints down 

ActionAid received 123 complaints about fundraising activity in 2018, a drop of 27 per cent from 168 complaints received in 2017.

41 per cent of the 123 complaints were about direct mail, 19 per cent concerned face-to-face fundraising and 8 per cent were about telephone fundraising.

None of the complaints were referred to the Fundraising Regulator or deemed highly serious.

Safeguarding concerns

ActionAid saw an increase in safeguarding reports in 2018, with 14 involving ActionAid staff and volunteers compared to two received in 2017.

Ten of the reports into staff and volunteers were investigated and are now closed and four carried over into 2019.

There were seven safeguarding reports involving child programme participants and two involving adult programme participants, compared to none in 2017.

Girish Menon, chief executive and Patti Whaley, interim chair said in the foreword: “In 2018, the development sector was rocked by revelations that some aid workers had betrayed their position of trust by abusing some of the most vulnerable women and girls. 

“While ActionAid has not been implicated, these abhorrent acts have prompted a critical yet immensely positive sea-change in the way we and the wider sector tackle these issues. 

“Over the past year we have looked closely at how we safeguard those with whom we come into contact, including women and girls in developing countries, volunteers, staff members and supporters, to ensure we do everything in our power to prevent abuse.

“We are committed to creating an environment where people feel able to call out abuse, and 2019 will see the much-anticipated implementation of our global feminist leadership principles.”

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