Charity reduced staff headcount by 15% last year after challenges securing funding

07 Dec 2023 News

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Entrepreneurship charity UnLtd reduced its staff headcount by 15% last year, newly filed accounts reveal.  

According to the charity’s latest accounts for the year ending March 2023, it identified a need to reduce the budget by £1.3m.

This led to the “very difficult decision” to cut the number of staff, the accounts read.

UnLtd ended the year with 58.8 full-time equivalent staff, 16.8 less than the previous year. 

Staff costs and redundancy payments

Despite the drop in staff, UnLtd reported an increase in salary costs from £3.03m to £3.24m for the reporting year. 

Total redundancy payments amounted to £79,055 and were paid to ten individuals, compared with £2,225 in redundancy payments to one individual the previous year. 

The structure of the organisation remains the same, with four main directorates and the introduction of three new roles, according to the accounts. 

All UnLtd staff received a 6% cost-of-living increase at the end of the reporting period, the accounts add. 

Some 11 employees during the period earned more than £60,000, an increase of three people from the previous year. 

Trustees received no remuneration but £1,362 in expenses were reimbursed, compared to none in 2022. 

The aggregate remuneration received by the key management team was £561,326, over £37,000 more than the previous year. 

The CEO was paid £135,746 for the financial year 2022-23, an increase of £4,746 on the year prior. 

The charity has completed a pay progression framework and will be introducing a new competency-based approach in March next year. 

Drop in income 

UnLtd reported a total income of £10.1m for the financial year, a decrease of almost £1m on the previous year. 

More than half of this, £5.8m, came from donations, while £3.9m came from investments and the remaining from charitable activities.

Meanwhile, the charity’s overall expenditure was £11.2m, an increase from £10.8m the previous year. 

The charity’s accounts state that “it was a challenging year for securing new funding” as many of its partners and prospects were affected by rising business costs. 

The accounts read: “There has been no outsourced fundraising via professional fundraisers or other third parties.

“As a result, the charity does not need to register with the fundraising regulator and received no fundraising complaints in the year.”

UnLtd’s real value of the endowment was £167.3m, a rise of £14.4m on the previous financial year. 

Some £15.6m is being held in the charity’s income reserves, £1.1m more than in 2022. 

Charity contributed £65,000 to criticised partnership 

In October, UnLtd responded to concerns raised about its fundraising partnership with the Entrepreneur Ship, where two entrepreneurs rowed across the ocean to raise money for the charity. 

Staff raised concerns when the founder of the project and entrepreneur, Guy Rigby, appeared to publicly support “racist” social media posts.

They also criticised the charity’s partnership with the most recent rower for the project, Jake Chapman, due to his controversial artwork.

The charity’s latest accounts show that the Entrepreneur Ship anticipated £222,060 in incoming resources for the year ending March 2023, while UnLtd contributed £65,000 in expenditure to it. 

The previous year, the charity contributed £7,277 to the project. In 2021, when the project began, the charity did not record any expenditure for it. 

The total fund balance for the Entrepreneur Ship project at March 2023 was £419,931 which included the funds generated from the partnership the previous year. 

Nine formal complaints

The charity received nine formal complaints across the reporting period, a slight increase of two on the previous year. 

Eight of the complaints were resolved following engagement, while one complainant “chose to escalate their complaint to the chief executive officer, who reviewed all relevant information and formally responded to the complainant within 48 hours and it has since been resolved”.

In April, employees reported allegations of bullying or harassment at the organisation. 

Refreshed EDI learning curriculum

UnLtd’s accounts state that it has affinity groups and an equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) strategy which it recently refreshed. 

The accounts read: “Creating a more inclusive and equitable workplace is an ongoing process and continuing to learn about EDI is a long-term commitment.

“In that spirit, we have refreshed our extensive EDI learning curriculum for 2023-24 (year three of our plan) and shared additional learning resources with staff to complement their learning this year.”

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