We had a formal income target of £850,000, which we met this year. Since the Chief Executive assumed the post in 2009, income has increased by 60%, a remarkable achievement considering the challenging financial period.
Through a number of multi-year grants and funding pledges, the organisation has secured income of over £500,000 at the start of the new financial year. This compares favourably to the start of 2010 when we had no secured income.
Our major sources of income in 2011 were:
• Comic Relief, through which we secured £258,293 as part of our two-year HIV+ Survivors Integration Project (SIP). An additional £167,793 was received in the financial year, which was deferred to 2012 to fund activities in this period
• The Charities Advisory Trust continues to be one of our principal funders, through funding that it generates from the Good Gifts Catalogue and the Card Aid scheme. The grant of £128,525 covers an array of projects including £29,010 for the procurement of bicycles, and £20,134 for the procurement of rice, and funds for the university sponsorship programme for young survivors
• Funding from Foundation Rwanda increased to £122,046 from £48,979 restricted for use for educational support to over 850 children born of rape in Rwanda, principally through our partner organisations AVEGA, Kanyarwanda and Solace Ministries
• We received £96,714 from individual donors in 2011, 12% down on 2010 (which was a record year for individual giving). Online donations amounted to £14,327, and £28,073 of regular giving through standing orders
• We received the second instalment of £80,000 of a three year £240,000 grant secured from the Sigrid Rausing Trust; £75,000 of which is unrestricted for use in Rwanda to support work with women survivors affected by gender-based violence
Our level of expenditure in 2011 was at the highest level in three years, at £824,283, an increase of 13% on 2010, the majority of which (£720,680) was disbursed on programmes in Rwanda.
Our major sources of expenditure this year were:
• The HIV+ Survivors Integration Project (SIP) is our principal project, with expenditure
of over £260,169 in Rwanda, with funding disbursed to our partner organisations on the project AVEGA Agahozo and Solace Ministries
• An array of livelihood projects were funded out of the grant from the Charities Advisory Trust, with £106,218 expended in Rwanda, principally on university sponsorship with special grants to fund new bicycle and solar lamp projects. Some funding was carried over to 2012
• Our expenditure in the UK was 5% below budget at £100,482, comparing favourably to our expenditure in 2008, which amounted to £155,094
• Our expenditure on the Rwanda office was on budget at £104,486, which reflects a growing office to undertake more intensive capacity- building support to partner organisations, as well as monitoring and evaluation
For every £1 we spent on raising funds, we generated over £75 of income. Most of our fundraising efforts were expended on grant writing (25% of the Chief Executive’s time), as we do not spend any money on marketing. We receive a Google Grant, which provides us with free advertising on Google.
The year ahead is promising to be the best yet for SURF since 2007. We have brought all our costs under control through a streamlining programme last year and thus begin the year with a very low cost base. We have diversified our funding base, and there are a number of funding opportunities on the horizon.
The principal new funding for SURF in 2012 is a new three year grant funded by UKaid from the UK Department for International Development (DfID) which was awarded under the impact programme of the Global Poverty Action Fund (GPAF). The grant is for £966,360 over a three year period, for a Widowed Survivors Empowerment Project (WSEP) with our principal partner organisation, AVEGA Agahozo.
We are developing a new proposal to the International Communities programme of the BIG Lottery Fund which at the time of writing has progressed to the second stage of the application process. This is for a three-year grant in the region of £500,000 to support the extension of the work of AVEGA Agahozo in the Western Region of Rwanda.
Funding from Foundation Rwanda is set to increase again in 2012 to around $300,000 (around £190,000) as we extend the educational support project for children born of rape.
We are committed to keeping our costs as low as possible in the UK in 2012. SURF continues to retain only one employee in the UK (the Chief Executive) following the departure of the Administrator in January 2012 after seven years of service.
Following a salary review of staff in Rwanda, we awarded a real wage increase of 5% above inflation for all staff. The Chief Executive in the UK was awarded a 10% increase, which accounts for his refusal to accept a 5% increase in 2009-10 due to lack of funding at that time.
We plan to continue to increase the level of grant expenditure in 2012 as in the previous three years.
The policy agreed by the trustees is that the recommended amount to be held in reserve by the organisation is £50,000, to cover three months operating expenditure in Rwanda and the UK.
In 2011, we began to build back up our reserves, after a period of drawing them down in 2010 in order to sustain operations over a challenging financial period. They stood at £30,724 by the year end. However, we expect to build back up the reserves to the recommended level in the first half of 2012.