VSO improved its income by 12 per cent in the year to March

The international volunteering charity's latest accounts show income increasing from £68.7m to £77m

VSO: strong growth in individual giving
VSO: strong growth in individual giving

The international volunteering charity VSO increased its income by 12 per cent, from £68.7m to £77m, in the financial year to March 2015, according to its latest annual accounts.

The charity said the increase came mainly because of funding it received to run the government’s International Citizen Service programme. In 2012/13, the Department for International Development awarded a three-year contract to VSO to manage the overseas youth volunteering initiative. In 2014/15, the contract represented £24.4m of its income.

The charity received a further £22m from DfID through its strategic grants programme in 2014/15.  

The accounts show particularly strong growth in the income received from individual donors, with the charity recruiting more than 21,000 new donors in the UK and Ireland, raising an additional £1.7m in 2014/15.

Its flagship Christmas concert also raised more than £130,000 in a single evening.

The charity spent £64.5m on charitable activities in 2014/15, an increase of 9 per cent on the previous year. Its fundraising costs increased by £1.2m to £8m for the year, which the charity said was a result of its drive to recruit more individual donors.

The accounts show that charity’s reserves stand at about £7.2m, but it said it hoped to increase this to £7.5m over the course of the next year.

The charity’s highest earners received between £100,000 and £110,000 last year. Two members of staff received this amount, but the accounts do not give their names or jobs titles, as the National Council for Voluntary Organisations recommended large charities should do after its inquiry into executive pay last year.

Philip Goodwin, the chief executive of VSO, and Mari Simonen, its chair, say in a joint statement at the start of the accounts that it will be making significant changes in the way it organises and structures itself in 2015.

They say: "Our surplus for 2014/15 will be re-invested into this restructuring and reorganisation to simplify our decision-making, remove any duplication of effort, increase our cost-effectiveness and allow us to continue to grow our organisation around our development outcomes."

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