Save the Children UK expects income to fall by £67m this year

Fears that income would fall have been exacerbated by the charity's withdrawal from government funding bids after claims of sexual misconduct by staff emerged

Save the Children UK expects its income to fall by £67m in 2018 partly because it withdrew from government funding bids, the development charity has said.

The charity’s accounts for the year to 31 December 2017, published last month, said the charity expected income to fall in 2018, but did not say how much it expected to lose.

Save the Children has been under intense scrutiny in the first half of this year as details of sexual misconduct allegations against the charity’s former chief executive and former policy director emerged.

In a statement made to Third Sector today, the charity said that when its budget was agreed in December it was expecting a fall in income of between 10 and 15 per cent because several large multi-year projects had come to an end in 2016 and 2017.

But in April this year the charity announced it had temporarily withdrawn from bidding for new funding from the Department for International Development, which provided more than £131m of its funding in 2017, after claims emerged of sexual misconduct by senior staff at the charity.

In a statement, the charity said: "Save the Children UK’s temporary withdrawal from new DfID funding bids means that it is now expecting an additional fall of income this year.

"Its current estimate is that total income and expenditure this year will each be about £340m. They were both about £407m in 2017." 

The predicted loss would represent a year-on-year fall in income of 16.5 per cent.

"Save the Children UK is now in the process of assessing the potential impact of this drop in funding for future years," the charity’s statement said.

"The long-term underlying financial health of Save the Children UK is good, with impressive year-on-year growth in income from generous public and philanthropic donors. Save the Children UK’s budget plans are driven by a long-term strategy and goals and not by short-term changes to income around specific projects."

When the charity announced the withdrawal from DfID funding bids, it said this would not affect existing DfID-funded programmes.

The allegations of sexual misconduct included claims of inappropriate texts sent to female staff members by the charity's former chief executive Justin Forsyth.

The allegations about Forsyth were investigated by the charity in 2011 and 2015, and Forsyth left his role in 2015. He stood down as deputy executive director of Unicef after the allegations emerged in February.

Allegations have also been made against Brendan Cox, the charity’s former policy director and widower of the murdered MP Jo Cox, of inappropriate behaviour towards women.

Cox left Save the Children in 2015 and admitted last month that he had "made mistakes" during his time at the charity.

The Charity Commission launched a statutory inquiry into the charity amid concerns about Save the Children’s response to the allegations against senior staff members.

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