Our Expenditure in 2020
Our operating expenses for 2020 were €45.9 million - €39.7 million of which was spent directly in support of conflict-affected children. We spent €1.6 million on management and administration across the year in total.
In percentage terms we spent 86 per cent of our expenses on our objective - broadly in line with our 2019 expenditure. Total expenditure on management and administration was 3 per cent - again broadly similar on a year-on-year basis.
We spent €4.6 million on our fundraising activities across the year as a whole. Our total income from fundraising was €43.5 million - which means our total fundraising investment was 11 per cent of our income, an increase of 2 per cent from 2019.
Our €39.7 million expenditure on our objective was 5 per cent below our planned budget - and demonstrated a 1 per cent positive difference to actual expenditure in 2019. Actual expenditure over the course of 2020 was €45.9 million. The higher actual expenditure can be attributed to unexpected costs related to the coronavirus pandemic - costs we were able to manage thanks to our unrestricted operating reserve.
The largest shortfall in expenditure measured against our planned budget was in our Can’t Wait to Learn programme due to blanket school closures and major disruptions to learning to curb COVID-19. The imminent launch of a new scaling strategy will help this award-winning programme build on its success and overcome these challenges in the months ahead.
The successful roll out of our COVID-19 emergency response in all 16 countries represented an extraordinary response to an extraordinary crisis. We simply would not have been able to achieve this without the decades of collective experience and expertise within our walls. A massive European door-to-door fundraising effort as well as our 75 Jaar Vrijheid campaign in the Netherlands replenished our reserves at crucial moments.
Our largest programme country in terms of expenditure is Lebanon - where spending on our projects grew 1 per cent year-on-year to total €10 million. This can be attributed to a large-scale emergency response effort - both by staff on the ground and loyal donors. This was also the case for our Syrian Response, where a total of €7.3 million went towards the protracted humanitarian crisis.