Our Expenditure in 2019
Our operating expenses for 2019 were €44.3 million - €39.1 million of which was spent directly in support of conflict-affected children. We spent €1.4 million on management and administration across the year in total.
In percentage terms we spent 88 per cent of our expenses on our objective - broadly in line with our 2018 expenditure. Total expenditure on management and administration was three per cent - again broadly similar on a year-on-year basis.
We spent €3.8 million on our fundraising activities across the year as a whole. Our total income from fundraising was €45.1 million - which means our total fundraising investment was nine per cent of our income, similar to 2018.
Our €39.1 million expenditure on our objective was two per cent above our planned budget - and demonstrated a 14 per cent increase to actual expenditure in 2018. Actual expenditure in 2019 was in range of the budget. This can be attributed to a 14 per cent year-on-year rise in fundraising income in our programme countries - a significant improvement on 2018.
More projects were implemented in 2019 thanks to increased availability of funding - with the largest increases seen in Lebanon and our Syrian response.
The largest shortfall in expenditure measured against our planned budget was in our Can’t Wait to Learn programme due to the ending of major grants which provided significant funding for the programme. This is also true of our programme activities in Colombia and Burundi with major funded projects coming to a close over the course of 2019. In these programmes, the fundraising target was not achieved.
Expenditure on project activities during 2019 grew €5.2 million year-on-year - which meant we were able to implement more projects than ever before. This growth was fuelled in part by increased availability of grant funding for projects within War Child’s areas of expertise.
Our presence in certain countries within our programme portfolio increased significantly over the course of the year. We focused our fundraising efforts on countries where we have our own offices - this also ensures we can more closely monitor our programmes. This strategy saw us reduce our presence in other programme countries as a response.
Our largest programme country in terms of expenditure is Lebanon - where spending on our projects grew 36 per cent year-on-year to total €9.9 million. Our second largest country in terms of total spend is the Netherlands - which serves as the managerial hub for our global programmes TeamUp and Can’t Wait to Learn.
Our aim is to spend at least 85 per cent of our resources on our objectives i.e. project activities, preparation and awareness-raising. In 2019 War Child met this target. The total expenses spent on our objectives in 2019 represent 88 per cent of our total expenses - compared with a budget of 89 per cent equal to the previous year. The actual ratio is equal to budgeted ratio and is marginally better than previous years.
War Child aims to spend a maximum of four per cent of its costs on management and administration. The total expenses spent on management and administration in 2019 were three per cent of total expenses - equal to the budget and slightly lower than the previous year.
We were able to maintain our fundraising expenses at 9 per cent of our income - the same as 2018. The main reason for this was that our fundraising income increased exponentially, despite a significant increase in fundraising expenses.
The Notes to the Annual Accounts provide further information and analysis of our expenditure.