We also produce an annual review containing some of the highlights of our work during the year, presented in an easy-to-read format. You can download PDF versions of our latest reports below.
In 2017, we celebrated a historic milestone: we delivered our one billionth treatment to people affected by painful neglected tropical diseases. We also entered the final stage of our goal to deliver a million cataract operations to people in more than 30 countries.
Our Bright for Sight campaign launched in 2017, aiming to help millions of people who are needlessly blind. In September, hundreds of staff from companies up and down Ireland wore yellow to work to raise awareness and critical funds for Sightsavers Ireland.
We were also selected as Christmas FM’s 2017 charity partner. Over the Christmas period, listeners raised €214,000 for Sightsavers, which will provide 5,944 sight-restoring operations for people in low and middle income countries.
During 2016 we continued our work against neglected tropical diseases, with more than 154 million treatments distributed during the year as we approached the cumulative milestone of a billion treatments. Meanwhile, Sightsavers’ overall income increased to more than €340 million for the first time.
Our supporter care team were rewarded for their hard work: we were given first prize in the charity sector in the Top 50 Customer Service Awards.
The Sustainable Development Goals were agreed at the UN, marking a huge leap forward for people with disabilities. These 17 global goals, to be adopted by UN member states, aim to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind.
Sightsavers’ Global Trachoma Mapping Project, the largest infectious disease survey ever undertaken, was completed at the end of 2015. It aimed to pinpoint the world’s trachoma-endemic areas: during the three-year project, surveyors collected data from 2.6 million people in 29 countries using smartphones.
During the year we also enjoyed unprecedented media coverage, with Sightsavers featuring on Channel 4’s Unreported World, the MailOnline and BBC Radio 5.
Sightsavers’ neglected tropical disease programmes continued to grow in 2014, and we once again supported more than 100 million treatments during the year. A grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation enabled our work to progress on a much wider scale.
The Million Miracles campaign to fund sight-saving surgery was launched, raising more than €11 million in three months. As our first internationally coordinated fundraising appeal, it focused on cataracts, telling the story of Winesi from Malawi who regained his sight following a straightforward cataract operation.
Sightsavers supported more than 100 million NTD treatments a year for the first time. In October, our UNITED NTD programme launched in Nigeria, which aims to provide 112 million treatments in the country over four years.
We enjoyed significant fundraising success in 2013, receiving grants from new donors such as the Conrad Hilton Foundation and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation. We were also chosen as one of three charities for the Times newspaper’s seasonal appeal.
Our landmark trachoma mapping programme was launched and as part of the project, Sightsavers worked with major international organisations and national ministries to track the spread of trachoma using smartphones.
Income from our Christmas appeal rose by 34 per cent to more than €570,000, thanks to a refocused, simplified approach using a strong single case study.
As part of the high-profile Beyond 2015 campaign, we enabled disabled people’s organisations to take part in several United Nations-led processes in Africa and Asia, and ensured the voices of people with disabilities were heard at high-level UN meetings in London, Monrovia and Bali.
Despite a challenging economic environment, Sightsavers had an exceptional year. Two big media events boosted our profile in 2011: Red Nose Day for Comic Relief in the UK, and a successful seasonal appeal in the Financial Times, which featured around the world. Both events also helped us to raise substantial funds.
We increased our income, which enabled us to spend more on our programmes and key strategic objectives, including advocacy and research, while still ending the year with increased reserves.
Our new branding was rolled out across the organisation during 2010, starting with Ireland in February. It was universally well received and helped to improve the impact of our communications.
We faced economic challenges in the countries where we raise funds, with many struggling to come out of recession. The UK announced cuts in the Autumn Comprehensive Spending Review, while Ireland’s difficulties culminated in them receiving a bailout from the International Monetary Fund.
Inflation remained high in many of the countries where we work. Despite this, we finished the year in strong position.
The extreme economic conditions meant the year was tough for Sightsavers, and inflation was high in many of the countries in which we work. The global recession affected our supporters, particularly in Ireland, and the volatility of currencies meant that each pound of income bought less in the countries where we work.
Yet we still achieved a lot thanks to our supporters, who remained loyal to us in difficult times.
At the start of the year we launched a new vision, mission and values, encapsulating the changes we wanted to make in the world. We also drew up a new strategic framework for the future.
We enjoyed a significant increase in income, with a major rise in grants: the highlight was the award of a block grant from Irish Aid of €3 million over three years, starting in 2008. We also posted increases in both trust and corporate income compared with 2007.