War Child can only continue its work for conflict-affected children thanks to all the donations we receive. Thousands of people lent us their support during 2017 - all of whom are our ‘Friends’. Every gesture of support we receive is valuable - whether it’s people supporting us with a €10 one-off donation or a major donation of €100,000, or simply with their time or expertise.
Every small effort allows us to provide support, education and stability to children growing up in the midst of conflict - and helps to create a global movement in support of peace.
Our strategic ambition is to establish long-term relationships with our structural donors - our Friends. This structural support allows us to secure ongoing financial backing for our projects and maintain our promises to children affected by conflict.
Our goal for 2017 was to secure 4,000 additional structural (monthly) donors. Across the year as a whole we recruited some 400 additional donors compared with 2016. We attribute this shortfall to the continued tough market conditions.
In terms of income we fell short of our target by €100,000 - but year-on-year we did see revenue in this sector increase by some €300,000. In a tough market this represents a significant achievement.
2017 saw us schedule four campaigns, each one with a specific theme. The year began with our new petition campaign - a first for War Child - where we asked people to sign the petition Keep Children Out of the Line of Fire. More than 21,000 people signed the petition, which was presented to the Dutch government.
The second campaign was centred on our Batman film - with the message that fantasy is the only way for children to escape from war. This was followed by our Back to School campaign, which emphasised the important role education plays in the development of conflict-affected children. We ended the year with our successful Safe Space campaign, which resulted in €300,000 income and received great support from our Friends on our crowdfunding page.
Each of the four campaigns met our expectations - but we did see that our contract strategy needs to be improved. To address this, we benefitted greatly from the insights of a trainee in econometrics. Her findings helped us to develop our approach methods and will in future lead us to build improved relationships with our Friends.
All of these efforts across 2017 as a whole resulted in total income of €8.41 million.
In 2017 we raised € 2.1 million from our fundraising partners. This amount was raised through our friends in the business sector, private foundations and individual donors who gave us a major gift. This figure also includes funds granted to us through legacies.
The fundraising result was roughly 10 per cent below the result in 2016. This shortfall was due to setbacks in filling crucial positions in the partnership team. These setbacks saw the department understaffed across the entire year and contributed to the shortfall.
We were very happy to retain ASN Bank as our main corporate sponsor in 2017. The year ended with the amazing news that this relationship will be extended for a further three years.
Our partnership with Air Miles was also extended during 2017. The year also saw Tommy Cares (part of Tommy Hilfiger), Deloitte, Buy Aid, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Merin B.V. and Rituals Cosmetics Enterprises continue to support War Child.
Amongst others, Cosmetics firm Ellis Faas and ‘t Stoepje (part of Market Food Group B.V.) launched successful fundraising campaigns on our behalf over the course of the year. Companies including Flow Traders, Cars on the Web and Insights Benelux all participated in our fundraising Kili Challenge. We also received wonderful support from Rotary Amsterdam-Oost and Lions Club Veendam in 2017.
In 2017 we were also able to reduce our direct costs by €1 million thanks to the success of our corporate partner network. Our in-kind product sponsors during 2017 included T-Mobile, Xtandit, ADP, MINI Amsterdam and Koninklijke Van der Most. Their in-kind support was an equivalent of the amount of €1 million.
War Child will continue to build on our existing partnerships - and forge new ones - over the coming years. We will keep improving our partnership propositions to ensure they are inspiring and result in sustainable partnerships that have a significant impact for conflict-affected children.
War Child is keen to invest in establishing relationships with children living in the Netherlands. Our major initiative to realise this goal is the War Child Kidsclub - a club for children aged between 8 and twelve. Kidsclub members receive videos made by our team of celebrity YouTubers - Britt Scholte, Quinty Misiedjan, Rens Polman and Niels Oosthoek.
The Kidsclub YouTubers made a significant contribution to our mission over the course of 2017. They engaged in numerous fundraising challenges and awareness-raising activities - including a soccer match against Creators FC and a fundraising drive in which they swapped War Child badges for items of values provided by our corporate partners. The last ‘swap’ raised an amazing €10,000 for conflict-affected children.
The War Child Kidsclub is sponsored by America Today Junior. We also welcomed child care organization SWKGroep and Gamestate as Kidsclub partners in 2017. SWKGroep gave us access to 18 child care locations, where our volunteers gave interactive presentations about the work of War Child. This partnership helped us welcome 4,000 new members to the War Child Kidsclub over the course of the year.
The Kidsclub also enjoys a healthy and growing presence on social media, including more than 1,000 followers on Instagram. We are very proud of the work of our vloggers and the relationship they have built with our Kidsclub members.
Our Kidsclub also proved to be a valuable awareness-raising tool in 2017. The year saw 356 schoolchildren cover War Child in their coursework, 290 schoolchildren give a lecture and 177 schools request educational material about our work.
Actions / Third party events
War Child supports children forced to live with the effects of armed conflict - and our network of action supporters makes a large and important contribution to our mission. In 2017 - like every year - they lent us significant support.
In our plan for 2017 we put increased targets in place but unfortunately we fell short of our ambitions. This year we raised €996,877 with actions. Year-on-year the total number of actions fell from 851 in 2016 to 712 in 2017. The reason for the drop in this income was understaffing in the team in 2017. Yet the success of events such as the Dam tot Damloop fundraising run prove we are on the right track. In 2017 some 150 sporty supporters took part on behalf of War Child, raising nearly €35,000 - a significant increase on revenues from the 2016 event.
War Child has focused on the kids and schools sector for many years. 2017 was no different - the year saw us organise the Elfstedentocht4Kids, which was a great success. The event resulted in 120 new Kidsclub members and raised €3,500.