Income of Emerge Poverty Free falls by nearly a third

The charity reduced its workforce from nine to six but still had a net loss of £272,000 in 2012/13, according to its latest accounts

The income of Emerge Poverty Free - formerly called World Emergency Relief - fell by almost a third in 2012/13, according to its latest accounts.

The charity’s annual financial statements and trustees report to 31 March 2013 show that its income decreased from £7.56m in 2011/12 to £5.33m in 2012/13. It runs poverty relief programmes in 13 countries. 

The accounts say that the organisation, which changed its name from World Emergency Relief in June 2011, went through a "year of change". It also reduced its workforce from nine to six.

Almost every area of the charity’s voluntary income fell. This included public donations dropping from £1.11m to £975,035; foundations and trusts income falling from £51,930 to £25,428; events income decreasing from £30,697 to £16,063; and gifts in kind income going from £5.9m to £4m. Corporate donations grew from £1,530 to £38,187.

The report says that cash income fell by 21.9 per cent, due mainly to a fall in public donations and legacy income falling to £177,006 from £329,000 in the previous year.

"The overall net loss for the year of £272,950 was hard felt but not unexpected given the current economic conditions, acknowledging that this is in line with charity giving that is down by 20 per cent across the whole sector in the UK," the report says.

The charity’s income has declined significantly since 2010, when it was almost £15m. However, according to its accounts for that year, £12.7m of this was gifts in kind, with the increase attributed to the response to the Haiti earthquake in January 2010. 

The 2013 report says that as part of a review of strategic operations the organisation made significant staffing changes. Among these, chief executive Alex Haxton stepped down after four years in the role.

"Other members of staff also moved on during the period," the report says. "As a result, the organisation is much leaner and more efficient, providing a better platform from which to face the challenges of the next financial year."

The accounts says that redundancy payments totalling £37,500 were made to two employees as part of a restructuring that took place in December 2012.

Francesca Purcell, fundraising manager at Emerge Poverty Free, said that three people left the organisation through voluntary redundancy, one of which was the chief executive.

"It was about ensuring that the organisation had a good base from which to grow again and be stable going forward," she said.

Purcell said the charity had probably not invested enough in diversifying its income in the past, but said that she would lead an effort to improve this.

She said the charity would be focusing on corporate donations, trusts and foundations, major donors and events. It was also exploring opening a pop-up shop to sell goods such as vintage clothing and coffee.

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