A record-breaking year

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At DanChurchAid, we help people in extreme distress. We have done so for almost 100 years.

We help people whose situation is the most difficult of all in the world. The starving and vulnerable. The displaced and persecuted. The oppressed and discriminated. The world’s poorest people who do not have a voice that is heard due to war and catastrophes or other structural inequalities.

2020 offered many vital tasks to DanChurchAid, requiring the wide span of our relief work in the fight for the world’s poorest. Here, a short summary of our 2020 activities will follow:

Income for the year (889m)

DanChurchAid’s total income, including net financial income, reached DKK 889.0m in 2020, the highest revenue to date. Compared with the record-setting year 2019, revenue increased by DKK 103.5m and compared with 2018, revenue increased by DKK 214.1m.

The significant increase in the total income of DanChurchAid originates from more grants from Danida and an increase in both EU funding and contracts with international donors in 2020; altogether, an increase in external grants by DKK 94.2m of which DKK 67.9m comes from international donors.

Relief work abroad

In 2020, our activities abroad, both the development activities and the humanitarian emergency aid activities, covered all focus areas of DanChurchAid; saving lives, building resilient communities, fighting extreme inequality, and other international relief work. The relief work totalled DKK 742.3m, a considerable increase of DKK 93.7m compared with 2019.

The growing level of activity is caused by increased external donations, mainly for the humanitarian emergency aid projects, which have risen by DKK 92.5m to a total of DKK 497.3m. Moreover, DKK 245.1m has been spent on development activities, up DKK 1.3m on 2019. Our core focus has been on saving lives and building resilient communities.


Geographically, Africa continues to be the continent where we have the highest level of activity, with expenses totalling DKK 407.7m, equal to 54.9% of our total relief work. Our core focus in Africa has been on saving lives and building resilient communities. Our activities centred around the following countries: South Sudan, where a total of DKK 107.2m was spent. Furthermore, DKK 89.9m, DKK 49.7m and DKK 42.5m have been paid in Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and Uganda, respectively.

The Middle East

For the Middle East, we recorded the second-highest activity totalling DKK 168.7m or 22.7%. Most activities were aimed at saving lives and fighting extreme inequality. Our activities centred around the following countries: Syria, where a total of DKK 55.9m was spent. Furthermore, DKK 46.3m, DKK 36.9m, DKK 16.5m and DKK 13.0m have been paid to the West Bank/Gaza, Libya, Lebanon and Iraq, respectively.


We spent DKK 110.5m, or 14.9%, in Asia. Most activities were aimed at building resilient communities and saving lives. Our activities centred around the following countries: We spent the most money in Myanmar, a total amount of DKK 38.9m; then Bangladesh by DKK 22.7m, Nepal by DKK 20.6m and Cambodia by DKK 23.3m.

Global activities

We spent DKK 53.7m (7.2%) on global activities and DKK 1.7m (0.2%) on European activities.

Information and fundraising (9.0 %)

In 2020, expenses for information and fundraising activities totalled DKK 67.2m, down DKK 3.5mon 2019. The decrease in total expenses is attributable to necessary cost reductions because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We paid expenses of DKK 51.2m in connection with fundraising activities such as the annual Parish Collection campaign, continued focus on new ways of fundraising including the recruiting of donors, the campaign “Give a Goat” (gift catalogue), central logistics operations (stocks) related to second-hand clothing as well as the operation of charity shops and the Wefood stores - sale of surplus food.

Also, we spent DKK 16.0m on information activities such as presswork and information in general, partnership activities, a sustainability campaign – reduction of food loss and waste, and the award of the Timbuktu Prize.

Of the DKK 16.0m, DKK 4.2m was financed externally by, among others, Danida with approx. DKK 2m for project-related information activities, the Timbuktu Foundation with DKK 0.2m, the Salling Foundations with DKK 1.1m for a sustainability campaign, and the association Civil Society in Development with DKK 0.7m as compensation for the lack of income from second-hand activities and other fundraising activities.


The administration rate was 5.1%, which is 0.2% less than in 2019 (5.3%). The slightly lower administration rate mainly results from the somewhat higher revenue in 2020 compared with 2019 and because the secretarial expenses have not increased proportionally.

The administration rate is calculated as total payroll, staff, and operating costs less total costs related to the activities in the International department and the Engagement department expressed as a percentage of total revenue.

In 2020, actual expenses incurred at the Copenhagen secretariat in Mehldalsgade and the operation of the regional offices in our focal countries amounted to DKK 303.4m. Operating costs of our regional offices came to DKK 165.8m, up DKK 14.6m on 2019, of which relief work activities financed the majority of the costs. Operating costs of the Copenhagen secretariat in Mehldalsgade amounted to DKK 137.5m, up DKK 12.3m on 2019.

The increased operating costs of the regional offices are the outcome of the significant increase in revenue and with it, our growing relief work, requiring more staff resources. The rise in operating costs of the Copenhagen secretariat in Mehldalsgade is attributable to implementing new IT systems and the provision for holiday pay obligations, among others.

The secretarial expenses related to programmes and projects are allocated to the relevant activities through time recording and cost allocation. After the allocation of these expenses, secretarial expenses amounted to DKK 49.2m in 2020, down DKK 2.5m on 2019.

DanChurchAid received total administrative contributions of DKK 42.5m (an average rate of 5.8%) from donors to manage the grants received, being DKK 5.1m more than in 2019 when we received DKK 37.3m (an average rate of 5.9%).

Profit for the year (8.7m)

Profit for the year amounts to DKK 23.7m and is transferred to equity, thus increasing the financial resilience of DanChurchAid as an organisation and business partner. The positive performance is rooted in fewer expenses spent on fundraising activities in Denmark. Also, many operating costs have been financed through external donations, exceeding our expectations.

Equity amounts to DKK 135.2m on 31 December 2020.