Charities have been much in the press recently, and I would like to reassure you about how SOS Children’s Villages works with our supporters and how it intends to operate in future.
First, we will never sell your data to other organisations. We keep it and protect it with continually monitored systems and processes. We will never badger you with demands for your help and will respond to any requests you have about how we contact you. We will continually update our policies and procedures on how we run ourselves in line with best practice in our sector and keep you informed of any changes.
Second, in recent months, the Trustees and Management have focussed on planning our future. Global economic uncertainty continues and political forces bring new challenges, such as the migrant crises. We are determined to ensure we have a strong financial foundation and a sustainable future. There are many challenges. We need to:
- Meet the commitments we have made to our children. We promised them we will support them through to independence as adults. The young children who came to Chipata and Basse are growing up! We need to maintain their homes and build new youth and vocational training facilities.
- Financially plan for change. For example, if Gift Aid changes in the UK, what are the implications for how we fund ourselves? Shifts in exchange rates are inevitable, and can sometimes hit us hard, as we work in 125 countries and across multiple currencies. How do we make sure we can cover those movements and always meet our obligations?
- Cover rising costs. Here in the UK we are lucky enough to have very low interest rates; but other countries are not so fortunate. Inflation is much higher in many of the places where we work than here in the UK. We must make sure we can cope with these rising costs.
What does all this mean? In short, we must build our reserves so that we cope with financial uncertainty and cost increases, wherever they may come from. We also need to save, so that we can invest for the future, and do more to meet our aims.
Given all this, we have decided to change the way we allocate your donations. From 1st January 2016, we will place 3% into our unrestricted reserves (in addition to the budgeted 17% deduction for costs). A small increase and a vital investment in the future security of the charity which will mean we continue to support the children who need our help.
Most importantly, it will mean we always have the resources to honour the SOS Children’s Villages promise – “To do more for the child at risk” – wherever they may be in the world.
Thank you for your continuing support and your dedication to that promise.
SOS Children’s Villages UK