Where your money goes
Find out how we use your donations to make the greatest impact on children’s lives
For every £1 we spend, 87p* goes directly towards helping children, young people and their families. Our supporters help fund a huge range of programmes – from schemes preventing neglect to mental health support. Here are some facts about how we use donations from the public.
We helped 368,648 children, young people and families in 2019/20, thanks to your support
We focus on the areas of greatest need
Most of the donations we get are unrestricted. This means they’re not tied to any one project or part of the UK. This flexibility is really important - it means we can provide support in the areas of greatest need. We work all over the UK, through 503 services in communities, in schools and online.
We’re a not-for-profit organisation
Action for Children is a not-for-profit organisation. Any profit we make goes straight back into services that help children and families. It doesn’t go to shareholders or investors.
As a charity, we have to keep some funds in reserve. This protects the families we support, as well as our staff and volunteers. It means there’s a pool of money we can call on in an emergency.
We rely on regular donations to keep services running
Action for Children gets some money from government, local authorities and businesses. But this kind of funding isn’t guaranteed long-term. It’s often restricted, so we can only use it for specific projects.
We rely on individual donations to provide much of the support we give to children and young people. Any size of donation makes a difference. If you’re able to give a regular gift, this provides long-term, stable support to children and young people. It helps run vital community services that local authorities can’t fund.
Our emergency appeals react to urgent crises
During an emergency appeal, every £1 we spend goes towards helping children, young people and families.*
Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic we’ve helped more than 12,000 families with the cost of basics. Your funding has helped pay for essentials that people couldn’t otherwise afford. This includes food, resources for learning and play and home repairs/furnishings.
We also need to invest in staff and fundraising
Most of the money we make from donations goes directly into services that help children. But we also need to put some money towards fundraising to help us continue our work.
Like any charity, our impact also relies on attracting skilled and experienced senior staff. It’s how we ensure we make the biggest difference we can. We pay executive salaries in line with other charitable organisations, and with oversight from our Remuneration Committee.
We’re open and honest about our activities
You’ll always be able to see exactly how much we spend on wages and other running costs in our annual report.
* Figure based on pre-audited charity accounts that exclude commercial nurseries
** In the unlikely event that we raise more money than can be reasonably spent, we use surplus funds to help us respond to other crises.
Other questions about donations?
We sometimes also get questions about the practical process of donating. Here are some of the most common ones.
What is Gift Aid?
If you’re a UK taxpayer you can increase your gift to us by 25% - at no extra cost to you. This means we’ll get an extra 25p for every £1 you give. Find out more on our Gift Aid page.