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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 last year, 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 10,000 families with the cost of basics. Your funding has helped pay for essentials that people couldn’t otherwise afford. This includes food (29%), resources for learning and play (24%) and home repairs/furnishings (13%).

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.

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.

Download and print this donation form to set up a regular gift by direct debit. Then return it to us to set up your gifts. For more info on how to donate by post, contact [email protected] or call 01923 361 500 (open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday).

Please contact Supporter Care on 0300 123 2112 (Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm) or email [email protected]

We always welcome feedback, so please contact Supporter Care on 0300 123 2112 (Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm) or email [email protected]