An update on QSA's finances and the actions taken during the pandemic.
During the financial year ending 31 March 2021, the Covid-19 pandemic caused great financial uncertainty for QSA and the wider charity sector. In light of this uncertainty, QSA exercised great financial prudence in terms of controlling expenditure, maximising income, and making the decision to close its most longstanding project, Homestore. QSA was able to secure a number of additional grants – including some generously provided by existing funders – plus support from the government’s Coronavirus Community Support Fund and staff furlough scheme. QSA launched a special pandemic fundraising appeal and received extremely generous donations from supporters; the 2020 Big Give Christmas Challenge fundraising appeal was also successful.
As a result of these actions, and the merger with Quaker Homeless Action, QSA finished the financial year on a strong financial footing. The income for the year of £2,137,426 exceeded expenditure of £1,380,831 giving a surplus of £756,595, including an increase in unrestricted funds of £99,154.
Of the total income, £325,104 is income from Local Trust which QSA receives on behalf of the three Big Local projects for which it is the Local Trusted Organisation. Also within the total income, QSA received significant net assets through the merger with Quaker Homeless Action (QHA), valued at £649,879, restricted for homelessness work.
Unrestricted income was 34% (£727,791) of the total – unrestricted funds are crucial in enabling QSA to respond flexibly to the needs which it identifies.
QSA’s reserves at 31 March 2021 sat at £1,839,562, consisting of £1,048,939 in restricted funds and £790,623 in unrestricted funds. The latter figure is composed of £613,914 in designated funds and a general fund (free reserves) of £176,709. The reserves are managed by a finance & fundraising sub-committee, which uses a risk-based approach to identify key financial risks and designate reserves to offset these risks. Accordingly £208,638 is held for emergency/wind down scenarios, and £302,216 for operational contingencies given that we fundraise in-year; the remainder of the designated fund is £103,060 in fixed assets.