HEKS/EPER opts for stabilization and greater focus in a difficult environment
Over the past year, Swiss Church Aid (HEKS/EPER), like many other Swiss NGOs, has had to cope with an ever more difficult environment. At CHF 66.2 million, operating income was below expectations, while expenditure of CHF 75 million remained within the budgeted framework. For HEKS/EPER, however, the current year 2019 as well as 2020 will be marked by financial stabilization and more focused project work. With this in view, the Executive Board and Board of Trustees have already introduced a series of measures in operations both in Switzerland and abroad, as well as in management and administration. These also entail staff cuts.
Economic pressure and competitive environment
The HEKS/EPER 2018 Annual Result reflects the increasingly challenging environment with which many Swiss charities have been grappling for some time. Noticeably greater financial pressure in a more competitive environment especially as regards mandates abroad or service contracts in Switzerland, as well as generally declining proceeds from donations for emergency humanitarian aid projects and from institutional donors necessitated a capital drawdown of CHF 7.7 million from existing funds, which was invested in project work.
Revenue from work in Switzerland amounted to CHF 26.7 million (40%). Cantonal churches, local church parishes and other church organizations contributed CHF 13.2 million (20%). Contributions from the federal government, cantons and communes amounted to CHF 14.9 million (23%), from private persons CHF 11.5 million (17%) and from Swiss Solidarity CHF 3 million (5%). The services provided by the five German-speaking Regional Offices and the Business Office for Western Switzerland contributed CHF 16.5 million (25%) to overall income.
The share of administrative costs in overall expenditure totalled CHF 10.8 million (ZEWO rate 14.5%). HEKS/EPER is therefore below the average for ZEWO-certified non-profit organizations (21%).