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 604,885 children, young people and families in 2020/21, thanks to your support
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 512 services in communities, in schools and online.
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.
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.
During an emergency appeal, every £1 we raise goes towards helping children, young people and families.*
Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic we’ve helped more than 20,000 children and young people with emergency support. Your funding has helped pay for essentials that families couldn’t otherwise afford. This includes food, resources for learning and play and home repairs/furnishings.
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.
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 audited 2019/20 charity accounts that exclude subsidiary companies like commercial nurseries
** In the unlikely event that we raise more money than can be reasonably spent, we use surplus funds for our general charitable purposes to help us respond to other crises.
We sometimes also get questions about the practical process of donating. Here are some of the most common ones.
What are your donation fees?
Processing fees are deducted from your donation to cover transaction fees:
- Single card payments: 1.9% + 20p per transaction
- Paypal single payments: 1.4% + 20p per transaction
- Regular direct debit payments: 15p per monthly payment
- Paypal regular payments: 1.4% + 20p per transaction
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.