Resources charity WRAP saw its overall income fall in the last financial year, but the charity continues to operate within budget despite government cuts leading to job losses early this year.
According to financial reports release last month for the 2017-18 financial year, which runs until April, the charity’s income fell to £20.58 million against spending of £20.36 million in the same period, leading to a surplus of £222,000.
In the previous financial year, 2016-17, the charity’s income was £27.14 million, against spending of £22.6 million, which led to a surplus of around £3.5 million.
As WRAP became a charity in December 2014, its profits are not taxed and is brought forward to be used for other projects.
In her foreword to the published accounts, Julie Hill, chair of the charity’s trustees, explained that while WRAP has played its part in helping “sustainability rise rapidly up the public agenda”, it has also had a challenging year.
“WRAP has been a huge contributor to this increased awareness, and the expertise and evidence built by WRAP over nearly two decades in operation are now at the forefront of efforts to find solutions,” she explained.
Ms Hill added: “This has also been a challenging year for WRAP. We have not been immune to the funding challenges faced by many organisations and businesses in our sector, especially those with material government funding.
“At the same time that our core funding has been reduced, the challenges we face are as difficult as ever.”
As outlined in the table above, WRAP explained that the cut in central government funding was partially offset by increases from other sources, which it confirmed to be mainly charitable donations.
WRAP explained that further £1.5M of the decrease is due to the timing impact of a multi-year extension to the Rural Community Energy Fund received and recognised in 2016/17, against which expenditure continued to be incurred in 2017/18.
Total grant funding from Defra also decreased by £3.4 million, of which £1 million related to “net year-on-year timing impacts”.
According to WRAP statements, the increase in business and donations income has been insufficient to offset the decline in government grant funding, prompting a significant cost reduction initiative in the second half of the financial year.
“Where possible we have made savings in non-staff overheads or by not replacing colleagues who left voluntarily, but 26 positions were made redundant during the year with associated redundancy costs of £0.4M,” the report explained.
It added: “Overall expenditure decreased by £2.2M year-on-year. Excluding redundancy and other restructuring expenses, staff costs remained essentially flat in real terms. The cost benefit from headcount reductions (expected saving £1.5M) will not manifest until 2018/19.”
Commenting on the release of figures, Marcus Gover, chief executive of WRAP, said the charity has made some “really great strides” and he continues to believe in the group’s ability to deliver change despite challenging circumstances.
He pointed to various schemes the charity has been involved in recently, including the Plastics Pact and its Love Food Hate Waste campaign as to how the charity is making a difference. However, he said the need for an ‘organisational redesign’ did cause disruption.
“The organisational redesign caused inevitable disruption and I am grateful to all of the colleagues involved – those directly affected and across the wider organisation – for their commitment and professionalism,” Mr Gover said.
He added: “These changes mean that we are fit for the future and have a clear focus for delivering change through our generation of evidence, our exceptional convening power among governments and businesses, our creative citizen behaviour change campaigns and our ability to evaluate our impact. I believe in WRAP’s continuing ability to deliver change at scale in the coming years. “