Financial summary 2019

During the financial year 2018/19 we achieved an increase in net income, expanded our research capacity and improved our financial resilience.

A woman holds bank notes

A woman trader counts her takings in Yangon, Myanmar (Photo: Asian Development Bank, Creative Commons via Flickr)

Our statement of financial activities demonstrates a stable performance in a challenging funding environment.

Income of GBP£20.8 million in the year was consistent with that recorded in 2017/18 (£20.7 million). Net income increased to £294,000 from £90,000 in 2017/18.

The number of employees increased by 11 to 136, reflecting an expansion in our research activity (our core function staffing remained static).

Despite the tough operating environment IIED has improved its financial resilience through:

  • Continued efficiencies in the core functions. Operating costs reduced slightly in 2018/19, but the total support cost (see note 3) increased due to the inclusion of depreciation (£172,000), provision for dilapidations (£216,000) and an unrealised foreign exchange loss (£94,000). Other significant changes compared to the previous year reflect a reallocation of expenditure in 2018/19 to different cost centres.
  • Unrestricted reserves increasing from £2.03 million to £2.497 million in the year as described further below.

IIED does not raise funds from the general public, and is not a grant making organisation; instead it works in collaboration with its partners, resulting in no fundraising activity and grant making disclosures being given.

Reserves policy

To protect the organisation and its charitable programme against the risks of funding loss through income shortfalls and other unexpected financial needs, IIED’s reserves policy sets a target for unrestricted reserves of approximately four months of operating costs and staff salaries less liabilities from employee benefits (around £2.2 million). We have therefore set the target range of unrestricted reserves at between £1.9 million and £2.5 million.

As set out in Note 10 of the accounts, our total reserves closed the 2018/19 year at £2.769 million, an increase of £294,000 over last year (£2.474 million). This increase follows a £172,000 reduction in the Building and Capital Fund reserve, which is designated to cover the anticipated cost of leasehold improvements over the remaining lease period on the Gray’s Inn Road site. The current unrestricted reserves have increased to £2.497 million, within the target range endorsed by the board.

During 2018/19, IIED continued to develop its new systems, and the investment cost of £114,000 (systems development and consultancy) has been capitalised this year.

During 2019/20, IIED will review its reserves policy to ensure it is aligned with the new five-year strategy launched in April 2019.

Investment policy

We invested our cash in a combination of high-interest cash deposits and fixed-term treasury deposits during 2018/19, with A rated financial institutions. This policy produces an acceptable rate of return while giving us flexibility to access funds.

Related parties

Some IIED trustees are also trustees of other charities or directors or senior officers in other organisations IIED works with as a normal part of its research activities. Where such work involves payment, they enter into arm’s length contracts and any payments related to these contracts are detailed in the notes to these accounts. The board operates a conflicts of interest policy.

Looking ahead

During 2018/19, IIED developed its next five-year strategy (2019-24) which was agreed by the board and launched in April 2019. During 2019/20, IIED will be reviewing its operations and developing supporting plans to ensure we are able to deliver against our strategy.

Value for money statement

Demonstrating value for money is ever more important for organisations using public funds. With aid budgets under pressure, development organisations need to show that they are efficient, that poor people's lives are actually improving, and that the environment is protected. Read our value for money statement on our Publications Library.

The trustees' report and accounts for the year ended 31 March 2019 contains detailed financial information, including a breakdown of all income received by IIED above £10,000.

Previous reports

See the financial summaries from previous years: 201820172016201520142013

2018/19 financial summary



Government and government agencies

Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA)
Department for International Development (DFID)
Irish Aid, Department of Foreign Affairs
Embassy of Sweden, Kenya
Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland
Federal Ministry for The Environment
The Secretary of State for Health
Deutsche Gesellschaft Fur International Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Gmbh
Royal Government of Bhutan
Ministry of Environment, Sweden
Agence Francaise de Developpement
Niger Basin Authority
Embassy of Ireland In Tanzania
Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs
German Institute for Development (DIE)
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Darwin) Korean International Cooperation Agency
Austrian Development Agency

International and Multilateral Agencies

European Commission
United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
World Bank
United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)
United Nations Development Programme (Switzerland)
Asian Development Bank
International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
United Nations Environment Programme (France)
Organisation for Economic Co-Op & Development
United Nations HQ New York
Malawi UNDP
United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
United Nations Development Fund (South Africa)
UN Environment Programme WCMC
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
United Nations Development Fund (Kyrgyzstan)
United Nations Environment Programme (Kenya)
United Nations Environment Programme (Bangladesh)

Foundations and NGOs

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Mava Foundation
Near East Foundation
New Venture Fund
Arcus Foundation
The British Academy
WYG International Ltd
Ford Foundation
Christian Aid
Wellspring Philanthropic Fund
Stockholm Resilience Centre
World Conservation Monitoring Centre
LTS International Ltd
Overseas Development Institute
International Livestock Research Institute
University of Evora
Tufts University
Institute of Development Studies (IDS)
Ag Innovations Network (Sustainable Food Lab)
Int Institute for Sustainable Development
Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
Annenberg Foundation
RSF Social Finance
Oxford Policy Management
Shack Dwellers International
European Climate Foundation
University of Manchester
Wallace Global Fund
Binks Trust
World Resources Institute (WRI)
Kings College London
University of Edinburgh
Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee
The Spindrift Foundation
Climate Focus
David & Lucile Packard Foundation
International Union for Conservation of Nature
Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre
Traffic International
Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group
Institute of Geographical Sciences
Conservation International
Institute for Essential Services Reform
International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
Global Resilience Partnership
IED Afrique
University of Oxford
Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF)
University of York
British Council
Natural Environment Research Council
Luc Hoffman Institute
Conservation Through Public Health
The Pew Charitable Trusts
Rockefeller Foundation
American Jewish World Service
Business for Social Responsibility
Ecosystems Service for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA)
Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
The Tiffany and Co Foundation
The British Academy
The Nature Conservancy
ClimateWorks Foundation
Open Society Foundations
University of Liverpool
University of Sussex
University of Southampton
Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research


PriceWaterhouseCoopers Limited, Kenya
PriceWaterhouseCoopers London
KPMG International (UK)
Mercy Corps USA
Adam Smith International
SAGE Publications Ltd
IPE Global Limited
Landell Mills Ltd
Sage Publications Ltd