After a record income level in 2018-19, total income at Christian Aid has decreased by 12%, according to its most recent set of accounts.
For the financial year to March 2020 total income was £106m, down from £120.4m the previous year.
The charity's accounts state this decrease is primarily due to a reduction in institutional income but also reflects “a continuing challenging domestic fundraising environment”.
Donations from individuals dropped by 7%, to £46.4m from £49.7m. This is mainly due to a shortfall on legacies, in part as a result of delays caused by Covid-19 restrictions.
It also reflects the year-on-year impact of a large one-off legacy in the previous financial year. Other donation streams including appeals and Christian Aid Week also showed a decline.
Unrestricted income sits at £48m, which is 6% below the previous year.
As a result of a faster decline in income than expenditure, the charity is reporting a net deficit of £7.3m.
Strategy and Covid-19
The charity recently made the decision to withdraw from 12 countries and also closed many of its UK regional offices, and restructured its departments.
This year the charity spent £1.1m on redundancy and termination payments, compared to £400,000 in 2019.
The accounts state Christian Aid has been heavily impacted by the pandemic and the fundraising environment. They read: “Covid-19 has dramatically disrupted our work and the external environment in which we operate.”
Nonetheless, the report adds that although the external environment has changed dramatically “in many respects it has accelerated trends we identified in our strategy” and has “reaffirmed” the direction it decided to take.
The charity has adopted a plan for a gradual recovery. For example, its programme work will tilt initially towards more immediate needs, with a greater proportion of expenditure on humanitarian action.
It will also plan for recovery of unrestricted income towards pre-pandemic levels in three years, whilst putting a more explicit focus on faith-based programmes.
Amanda Khozi Mukwashi, chief executive at Christian Aid said in the report: “Covid-19 has dramatically disrupted the context in which we live and operate. In a world of rising poverty and extraordinary social and economic challenges, it has shown that the need for our work is as great as ever before.”