The annual report lays out our income and expenditure for the year, as well as highlighting some of our key achievements. You can download PDF versions of our latest reports below.
As with every organisation across the globe, Sightsavers’ activities and performance in 2020 were dominated by the impact of COVID-19.
Sightsavers had to adapt to the challenge of pausing and repurposing our programmes, while trying to support our staff around the world against a backdrop of constantly changing restrictions and crisis measures. Our previous experience in dealing with the Ebola health crisis meant we knew how to adjust programmes during a health emergency, albeit on a smaller scale.
The pandemic led to significant change for us internally – some difficult, but some positive – and enabled us to evolve into a stronger, better connected and more inclusive organisation. We plan to incorporate what we’ve learned into Sightsavers’ ongoing development and, although the long-term impact of the pandemic is still largely unknown, we are proud of how we met the challenges and changes of 2020.
Ascend, funded by UK aid, aims to deliver more than 400 million treatments to treat and prevent five NTDs across 13 countries. And through Accelerate, we will continue our fight towards trachoma elimination as several of our other trachoma programmes came to a close.
In our eye health portfolio, we saw the enormous accomplishment of halving blindness in the Sundarbans, an island region in India where 40 per cent of the population live in poverty and eye care was difficult to access. Find out more in the accompanying Spotlights document.
We recorded our highest ever income: a total of £341 million and non-gift-in-kind income surpassed £100m for the first time.
2018 was a momentous year for Sightsavers. We unveiled two groundbreaking disability inclusion programmes – Inclusion Works and Disability Inclusive Development – and signed a huge new contract for the Accelerate Trachoma Elimination Programme, backed by a $105 million philanthropy fund, which aims to eliminate trachoma in at least 10 countries.
Our work in Ghana helped it to become the first sub-Saharan country to eliminate trachoma as a public health problem. This shows that eliminating trachoma is possible, paving the way for many other countries to follow.
It was a record year for Sightsavers’ voluntary income, with our Christmas mailing raising more than £1 million. We also forged a partnership with People’s Postcode Lottery that has so far raised £1.1 million, with more draws to come in 2019.
In 2017, we celebrated a historic milestone: we delivered our one billionth treatment to people affected by painful neglected tropical diseases.
We also applied for the Audacious Project, an initiative overseen by TED to turn transformative ideas into action, and we were delighted to be chosen to receive substantial funds to help us end trachoma. Sightsavers CEO Caroline Harper gave a TED Talk discussing our ambitious plan to eliminate the disease.
Other highlights include Professor Stephen Hawking speaking at our event to celebrate our NTDs milestone, in what was to be his last public engagement.
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 $360 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.
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.