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.
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. You can read more about some of our highlights in the Spotlights document.
We recorded our highest ever income in 2019: 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 reached our Million Miracles fundraising target to raise £30 million to fund sight-saving operations in some of the poorest parts of the world.
During the year we 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 £300 million for the first time.
2016 was the final year for DFID Programme Partnership Agreements, and we’re pleased to have been given an A+ rating for our work during the five years of the partnership. We also received an A+ assessment for our DFID-funded Nigerian NTD programme, known as UNITED.
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 £10 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.
The UK government also launched a new disability framework, responding to our calls to deliver disability-inclusive development.
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 also launched our first policy campaign, ‘Put Us in the Picture’, calling for the UK’s Department for International Development to make sure all its programmes are inclusive of people with disabilities.
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, with a grant of more than £10 million from DFID. 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 £500,000, 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.