Income stabilises at ActionAid after 10 per cent drop-off in 2018

Income at ActionAid stabilised last year after a near 10 per cent fall in 2018, latest figures show. 

The charity’s accounts for the year to 31 December 2019, which were filed with Companies House this week, show overall income fell 1 per cent from £49.6m to £49.1m, driven by a reduction in unrestricted donations and legacies and restricted grant income, partially offset by an increase in rental income.

This follows a 9.9 per cent decrease in 2018.

Expenditure on charitable activities rose by £3m (8.2 per cent) to £39.3m. This was due in part to an increase in restricted income of 0.9m, compared with 2018.

The charity also increased total fundraising expenditure to £11.3m, but reported a fall in restricted reserves from £3.8 to £3m.

In addition, the increased expenditure – together with an exchange rate loss of £0.2m led to a £1.6m deficit – compared with a surplus of £3.1m in 2018.

ActionAid did note a slight rise in the number of reported safeguarding incidents. Cases raised include a range of breaches of policy and verbal sexual harassment to sexual and non-sexual assault.

Incidents reported among adult programme participants doubled from two to four, child programme participants jumped from seven to 14, and AA staff/volunteers saw a rise of 12 to 26.

The charity indicated that “people are more confident in coming forward to raise concerns that make them feel uncomfortable or threatened, and that there are safeguarding policies that will protect and support them.”

It comes amid a general rise in the reporting of safeguarding incidents in the wake of the 2018 Oxfam safeguarding scandal. 

A statement from ActionAid said: “We are committed to creating a global organisational culture in which everyone feels safe and able to report incidents and confident that when they report incidents, they will be heard. This is critical to addressing sexual harassment, abuse, and exploitation.”

The statement said the Covid-19 crisis would have an impact on its future financial sustainability in the medium term, and said it would be looking to make a number of savings.

“Our financials are holding reasonably well under the circumstances of the current pandemic, thanks to the loyalty of our long-term supporters.

"We currently expect our full-year income in total to be inline with 2019 and unrestricted income in 2020 to be down by about 6 per cent compared to 2019 but forecasting income is very difficult due to current economic conditions,” the statement said. 

The charity said it had taken advantage of the government’s job retention scheme while also freezing recruitment and had put some non-essential spending on hold.

“We are looking at various avenues for cost savings, driven by a more focussed organisational steer and a smaller set of key priorities," it said.

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