Tearfund's income holds up despite pandemic

Total income at the Christian development charity Tearfund has remained stable as donations and legacies topped more than £80m during the pandemic.

The charity’s latest accounts, up to 31 March 2021, show its total income fell slightly, to £81.4m from £85m in the previous year.

Income from donations and legacies made up the majority of Tearfund’s funding in 2020/21 at £80.4m.

The charity reported a record rise in income last year, in part thanks to a “very generous multimillion-pound gift”.

Total spending fell about £7m from £85m in the previous year to £78m.

The charity still spent more than £66m on charitable activities.

A total of 16 new safeguarding incidents were reported last year, seven cases were carried forward from the previous year, and one from 2018/19.

Of those 24 cases, eight involved the charity’s staff or its partners and seven related to incidents in the communities where the charity or its partners work.

Total staff numbers at the charity fell from 1,273 to 1,237 in 2020/21, with nearly £250,000 spent on redundancies.

The charity said it had to make some “painful” decisions because of Christian events and festivals being closed during lockdown and the temporary closure of churches.

Jane Pleace, global fundraising director at the charity, said: "Tearfund is so grateful to all who support our work. This has been a year where our supporters have stood in solidarity with those who live in poverty.

“Despite the difficult circumstances of this year, supporters have generously shared their resources in so many different ways.

“At the end of 2019, the board approved a new strategy for the global fundraising team in order to increase the resources available to fund our work, and support Tearfund’s mission in ending extreme poverty.

“It became clear that to deliver these ambitious plans and objectives we would need to reorganise the fundraising team.”

Pleace said the charity made a small number of redundancies in the fundraising team as a result of this reorganisation.

“Each one of these decisions has been painful and was only made after very careful consideration of other options,” she said.

“There were also a small number of redundancies due to Covid-19, which led to the cancellation of Christian events, festivals and the temporary closure of churches.

“Tearfund remains deeply committed to the safeguarding and protection of everyone we work with, including beneficiaries, volunteers, Tearfund staff and the staff of partner organisations.

“We actively encourage our staff, representatives and members of communities in which we work to report safeguarding concerns and incidents when they occur, as well as to report any allegations of historic incidents they may become aware of."

In June it was revealed that the charity asked an employee to sign a non-disclosure agreement in April, to protect the identity of a survivor of a safeguarding incident, on the same day it pledged to stop using them.

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