Financial Review



2012 proved our most successful year of fundraising since 2006. Not only did our income increase year-on-year by 35% to £1,149,633, but we also reduced our expenditure in the UK ensuring that we maximised our funding to our partner organisations in Rwanda. As such, we were able to replenish our reserves, which we had utilised to cover the lean funding period the organisation experienced in 2010.


Since the Chief Executive assumed the post in 2009, income of SURF has increased by over 100%, a remarkable achievement considering the challenging financial period.

Through a number of multi-year grants and funding pledges, the organisation has already secured income of over £600,000 at the start of this new financial year in 2013, and we are on target to at least match the total raised over the year ahead.

Our major sources of income in 2012 were:

  • A new three year grant from the UK Department for International Development (DFID) for the Widowed Survivors Empowerment Project (WSEP) generated our largest single source of income of £252,716. This is set to increase to over £300,000 in 2013.
  • Through Comic Relief, we secured £181,397, as the final instalment of our two-year HIV+ Survivors Integration Project (SIP). The grant formally concluded in October 2012, though the project work continues through a loan guarantee fund of £25,000, which is on account at Urwego Opportunity Bank, enabling beneficiaries to continue to access start-up capital for new small businesses.
  • The Charities Advisory Trust continues to be one of our principal funders, through income it generates from the Good Gifts Catalogue and the Card Aid scheme. The grant of £187,469 covers an array of projects including grants totalling £82,725 for water and cooking projects.
  • Funding from Foundation Rwanda increased to £171,961 from £122,046 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 the third and final 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.
  • We received £79,638 from individual donors in 2012, 17% down on 2011. Online donations amounted to £5,058, and £24,781 of regular giving through standing orders.


Our level of expenditure increased proportionate to our income, at £1,101,665, the majority of which (92%, which amounts to £1,009,782) was disbursed to Rwanda.

Our major sources of expenditure this year were:

  • The Widowed Survivors Empowerment Project (WSEP) is our principal project, surpassing SIP; with expenditure of £212,195 on project activities in partnership with AVEGA Agahozo.
  • The HIV+ Survivors Integration Project (SIP) is the next largest project, with expenditure of £175,522 on project activities, with funding disbursed to our partner organisations on the project AVEGA Agahozo and Solace Ministries.
  • Our expenditure in the UK was at its lowest level for almost ten years, at £91,883, a year-on-year decrease of almost 10% compared to 2011.
  • Our expenditure on the Rwanda office was at £202,034, equivalent to 18% of our total expenditure. This reflects a growing office (with now ten staff) required to undertake more intensive capacity- building support to partner organisations, as well as more demanding monitoring and evaluation required by new grants.


We do not have any fundraising spend, as we undertake no marketing, paid-for advertising or direct mail. We receive a Google Grant, which provides us with free advertising on Google. This is quite exceptional for a charity that generates over £1 million in income.


The year ahead is promising to be strong financially. We have brought all our costs under control in the UK through a streamlining programme over the past two years and thus begin the year with a very low UK cost base. Though our costs in Rwanda have increased significantly, this is enabling us to deliver even more effective support to our partner organisations, and in turn generate further funding for them too.


Over £600,000 of income is already secured in 2013, including £300,000 from DFID for the Widowed Survivors Empowerment Project (WSEP), £150,000 from the Big Lottery Fund for the Genocide Widows Empowerment Project (GWEP) and £150,000 from Foundation Rwanda for our educational support project for children born of rape.

New grant proposals are in development to DFID and BLF for a new empowerment project for student survivors in partnership with AERG. Both proposals will be for funding in the region of £100,000 a year, and a decision on both is expected by the year-end. Further emphasis will be placed on supporting our partner organisations to develop and secure funding for projects directly, which will result in less income being channelled through SURF over time.


We are committed to keeping our costs as low as possible in the UK in 2013. SURF continues to retain only one employee in the UK (the Chief Executive), and after retiring our office in September 2012 we no longer pay any office costs in the UK.

Following a salary review of staff in Rwanda, we awarded an increase of 5% for all staff, in line with inflation. The Chief Executive in the UK was awarded a 5% increase as well.

We plan to continue to increase the level of grant expenditure in 2013 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 £20,000, to cover three months operating expenditure in the UK.

In 2012, we further strengthened our unrestricted reserves, after a period of drawing them down in 2010 in order to sustain operations over a challenging financial period. They stood at £14,678 by the year end, and we expect to bring them back up to the recommended level later in 2013.

Related Posts