Financial summary 2018

During the financial year 2017/18 we maintained our income, increased our free reserves and achieved reductions in central costs.

A merchant calculates costs in Geita District, Tanzania (Photo: Brian Sokol/Panos Pictures)

A merchant calculates costs in Geita District, Tanzania (Photo: Brian Sokol/Panos Pictures)

IIED's statement of financial activities for the financial year ending March 2018 demonstrates a stable performance in a challenging funding environment.

Our income stayed consistent at £20.7 million, as against £21 million recorded in 2016/17. The number of employees remained 125.

As the mix of IIED's programmes changed, payments to collaborating entities reduced from £7.6 million in 2016/17 to £6.7 million in 2017/18.

Despite a tough operating environment, we improved our financial resilience by making efficiencies in our information technology function, reducing central costs from £3.8 million in 2016/17 to £3.6 million in 2017/18.

Our free reserves increased from £1.767 million to £2.030 million.

Reserves policy

The reserves policy requires an annual review to reassess the risks and any changes in IIED’s income, financial obligations and expenditure. We reviewed the policy and reaffirmed the reserves policy established in 2012; we have therefore set the target range of free reserves at between £1.9 million and £2.5 million.

As set out in Note 8 of the accounts, our unrestricted reserves closed the 2017/18 year at £2.474 million, an increase of £90,000 over last year. This increase follows a £172,000 reduction in the Building and Capital Fund designated reserve, which tracks the value of leasehold improvements over the remaining lease period on the Gray’s Inn Road site. The current free reserves have increased to £2.030 million and is now within the target range endorsed by the board.

During the latter half of 2018/19, IIED will review its reserves policy to ensure it is aligned with the new five-year strategy.

Investment policy

We invested our cash in a combination of high-interest cash deposits and fixed-term treasury deposits. 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. 

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.

Looking ahead 

IIED continues to operate in an uncertain political and financial climate, but we remain positive about the next financial year. We continue to strengthen our operations by improving cost recovery, organisational development and fundraising. 

The trustees' report and accounts for the year ended 31 March 2018 contains detailed financial information, including a breakdown of all income received by IIED above £10,000.

Previous reports

2017/18 financial summary


Government and government agencies

Austrian Development Agency
Royal Government of Bhutan
Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Darwin)
Department for International Development (DFID)
DFID (via HTSPE Ltd)
DFID (via PWC)
Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Agence Française De Développement
Deutsche Gesellschaft für International Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Federal Ministry for the Environment
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland
Irish Aid, Department of Foreign Affairs
Korean International Cooperation Agency
Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA)
Embassy of Sweden, Kenya
Ministry of Environment, Sweden

International and multilateral agencies

Asian Development Bank
European Commission
International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
United Nations Development Fund (South Africa)
United Nations Development Fund (Kyrgyzstan)
United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
UNEP (Kenya)
UNEP (Bangladesh)
United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)
World Bank

Foundations and NGOs

American Jewish World Service
Annenberg Foundation
Arcus Foundation
Binks Trust
Business for Social Responsibility
ClimateWorks Foundation
Conservation through Public Health
Ecosystems Service for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA)
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Ford Foundation
Open Society Foundations
Institute for Essential Services Reform
IED Afrique
Institute of Geographical Sciences
International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
International Institute for Sustainable Development
International Livestock Research Institute
International Union for Conservation of Nature
King’s College London
Luc Hoffman Institute
MAVA Foundation
Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
Natural Environment Research Council
Near East Foundation
Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research
New Venture Fund
Overseas Development Institute
Oxford Policy Management
The Pew Charitable Trusts
Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre
Rockefeller Foundation
RSF Social Finance
The British Academy
The Nature Conservancy
The Tiffany and Co Foundation
Tufts University
University of Edinburgh
University of Liverpool
University of Southampton
University of Oxford
University of Sussex
Wallace Global Fund
Wellspring Philanthropic Fund
World Conservation Monitoring Centre
World Resources Institute (WRI)
WYG International Ltd


Adam Smith International
Landell Mills Ltd
Sage Publications Ltd