VSO’s income up 5.5% thanks to donor generosity
This year, leading international development charity, VSO, generated a total income of £81.2 million, up by 5.5% on £77 million in the previous year. According to VSO’s latest Annual Report, more than 2,178,000 people - an increase of 11.7% on the previous year - are leading better lives thanks to the generosity of donors and commitment of volunteers. In the past year, supporters and volunteers have made a difference in the poorest communities in 24 countries across Africa, Asia and the Pacific.
Private philanthropy continues to play a strong role in supporting the charity’s mission through innovative pilot programmes. In the past year, over 11,500 individual donors have been recruited who now make regular donations to VSO. Various trust and foundation partners around the world and members of the ‘Million Hours Fund’ - VSO’s philanthropic collective – have also helped to boost income and tackle poverty.
The ‘Million Hours Fund’ is an initiative for supporters who are in a position to make a significant impact on VSO’s mission. The fund aims to raise £1M for one million hours of volunteering for priority projects in health, education and secure livelihoods. Each member has the opportunity to visit the projects they fund overseas and they’re invited to an annual dinner attended by Princess Anne.
The fund has exceeded the initial target of one million hours of volunteering for six projects across Nigeria, India, Mozambique, Tajikistan, Nepal and Tanzania. It has also established volunteering as a highly effective development tool and enabled VSO to leverage other funding from national and international sources.
By demonstrating to ‘Million Hours Fund’ members the positive outcomes from the projects they’ve supported, their trust and confidence has grown. This meant that the charity could engage with them more effectively when it came to responding to Nepal’s earthquake emergency appeal last year which raised over £700,000. This enabled volunteers to not only tackle the country’s immediate emergency needs, but also provide longer term support in terms of education and health care.
Fundraising also continues to save lives In Ethiopia where the first 28 days of a baby’s life can be a matter of life or death. Since 2013, VSO has increased the number of neonatal intensive care units in Ethiopia from 3 to 16, which has cut new-born mortality rates by 40%. Also, as a result of volunteer training and support, 33,231 babies, women and children have accessed better quality health care last year, compared to 23,461 in the previous year.
In 2014 in the Odisha State of India, VSO volunteers launched ‘Samadhan’ – a system where marginalised communities could lodge grievances about the public services they’re entitled to. Each complaint, either made via a free phone call, text message or online, is resolved through a web portal which has resulted in better delivery and accountability of government services. 66% of the 1,707 complaints filed last year have been addressed including the construction of a new primary school in Jamuli Village and access to electricity in Tentiliguda Village.
VSO volunteers also trained over 66,000 teachers in 16 countries, which benefited more than 850,000 children. They also trained nearly 17,000 medical staff in 15 countries, which benefited 984,000 people.
None of this work would be possible without the generosity of supporters, volunteers and thousands of donors who give regularly to VSO.
Read the full report: https://www.vsointernational.org/sites/default/files/annual-report-2015-...