Year in review
This year represented another strong year for Plan International Australia’s revenue performance. Having bounced back from a modest 2016, this year our revenue reached the second highest in five years. This was on the back of some large exceptional items such as a significant growth in our World Food Programme food distribution portfolio due to the South Sudan Famine, a strong response to our South Sudan Emergency appeal and a solid corporate and bequest performance. This is considered a strong performance within an environment experiencing cuts to the Australian Government’s foreign aid budget and challenging conditions in the public fundraising market, particularly in the direct acquisition channel (face-to-face sign ups).
In response to this environment, we continued to work on improving our efficiency whilst also acknowledging the need to increase our in-house capability to cater for the growing digital market. The upscaling in the World Food Programme food distribution portfolio has pushed our program expenditure to a five year new high as illustrated by our program expenditure ratio (Funds sent overseas, plus project support costs and community engagement costs incurred in Australia, stated as a percentage of total revenue).
Costs incurred in Australia (for program support, fundraising, community education, accountability and administration) returned to the 2015 level, which corresponds with the increased level of revenue. This year we brought our digital capability in-house and invested in a new Digital team with the view this investment will yield rewards in the long term.