Charity’s government income almost halved last year


World Vision UK’s government funding almost halved last year, according to the charity’s latest accounts.

It received £4.6m from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in 2021/22, down from £8.2m in the preceding 12 months.

World Vision UK’s FCDO funding has dropped by about three-quarters since 2019/20, when it was worth £16.7m.

The charity previously called the government cuts “brutal”.

The decision to reduce government aid spending from 0.7 per cent of gross domestic income to 0.5 per cent is estimated to have cost development projects £4bn.

But World Vision UK’s income still rose sharply overall last year, from £52.8m to £69.8m.

Its financial recovery was driven by a large rise in the amount of money it received through the Disaster Emergencies Committee and donations-in-kind from the World Food Programme.

The figures are included in the charity’s annual accounts for the year to the end of September 2022, which it has published on its website.

World Vision UK spent £66.9m in 2021/22 and recorded a surplus of £2.8m, reversing a deficit of the same amount in 2020/21.

The number of staff at the charity dropped by just under 20 per cent from 239 to 195, mainly because of cuts to the number of people working in fundraising, communication and support roles.

World Vision UK received £7.2m from the DEC, up from £1.2m, while goods and services donated by the World Food Programme were worth £8.4m last year, up from £2.7m.

Income from public fundraising and legacies rose from £6.8m to £8m.

The charity’s safeguarding team investigated 20 cases in 2021/22, and closed 18, the accounts say.

Two incidents were referred to the Charity Commission, while one member of staff, who subsequently left the charity, has been placed on its “do not rehire” list as a result of safeguarding investigations.

Writing in the introduction to the accounts, Mark Sheard, chief executive of World Vision UK, said: “We are so grateful that, for the first time in 10 years, donations from members of the public have increased.

“We have been humbled by our supporters’ generosity in responding to the emergency in Ukraine.

“We have achieved significant growth in our single giving programme and support for our programmes in fragile contexts, as well as in people leaving legacies to World Vision.”

But Sheard also admitted that the ongoing financial squeeze was affecting its fundraising work, saying: “The aftershocks from the pandemic have however hampered our strategy for recruiting new supporters, and the rising cost of living now makes this increasingly challenging.”

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