Islamic Relief Worldwide reports record income for fourth year in a row

Islamic Relief Worldwide has reported a record total income for the fourth year in a row, driven by a surge in donations from the charity’s members.

Its latest accounts, up to the end of December 2020, show its total income jumped from £131m in 2019 to just under £149m.

Its accounts show this was due to an increase in voluntary donations of £133m, up from £113.5m in 2019.

This increase was largely driven by the IRW’s members, who donated more than £90m, an 11.2 per cent rise.

Total spending was also up slightly, to £129.4m, as was charitable expenditure at £115.4m, another record figure.

Its accounts show the charity saved about £2.5m after implementing a “financial resilience plan” that included furloughing some UK staff and putting a freeze on the recruitment of new employees.

The number of staff employed at the charity fell by four to 465.

The charity said it took steps to strengthen its governance after three senior figures were forced to step down during the course of the year following the emergence of antisemitic comments on social media.

Its accounts also show it worked with external experts to “rescreen” more than 100 senior staff across its network last year as a result of this social media activity.

Dominic Grieve, the former Attorney General, was subsequently asked to chair an independent review into the vetting of trustees at IRW in August.

It found that there was no evidence to suggest that antisemitic comments made by senior leaders at the charity had any link to its charitable work.

In his forward to the accounts, Waseem Ahmed, chief executive of the charity, said: “The path ahead includes developing a bold new global strategy to broaden and deepen our impact around the world.”

Ahmed took on the charity’s top job in May this year after Naser Haghamed stepped down at the end of January for health reasons.

Ahmed praised Haghamed for his “tireless efforts” to help ensure the charity’s continued growth.

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