Summary of Accounts 2015
ACCOUNTABILITY – The Brotherhood with Iraq publishes its summary of accounts for 2015.
Detailed summary of accounts
Q&A with Alois d’Aunay, Treasurer of the Brotherhood with Iraq
Why are you publishing the association’s detailed summary of accounts?
In 2014, the Brotherhood with Iraq raised more than 153,000 euros, crossing a threshold that required it now reach out to an external auditor to certify its accounts. From that moment on, the board of the Brotherhood with Iraq has decided to publish the association’s detailed summary of accounts. The projects we take on are made possible by the support of our donors, it’s normal that they know exactly how we raise our funds and how we use them. This financial transparency has a dual importance. It’s a duty we have towards our donors, and it’s also useful to the association: we make each member realize the responsibility he or she has in the use of every single euro. The Brotherhood with Iraq has operating costs amounting to 1.58%, for an annual expense budget of 750.000 euros.
How do you do, concretely?
First of all, all members of the Brotherhood with Iraq give some of their time and expertise to operate the association. We don’t have any permanent employee or paid worker. Similarly, the association doesn’t have a rent to pay each month: we meet in common rooms lent by our friends, or at a member’s place. Another important point is that we don’t have fundraising costs. Indeed, the Brotherhood with Iraq doesn’t spend a cent in advertisement or in the purchase of donors’ mailing lists. It’s a deliberate choice made by the members of the Brotherhood with Iraq. Our philosophy is to guarantee that 98.5% of donations will be used on site to help the Iraqi people, and not to fund ads in French media. In those operating costs, some expenses are imponderables. The largest, as detailed in the computer graphics, is the required external auditor’s fee. However, since 2015, and to match the association’s long-term and development goals, we are thinking about hiring one or two permanent employees, to strengthen the team and to manage the large reconstruction projects in the Niniveh plain, including the ongoing mine-clearing operation. The publication of our 2015 summary of accounts is an opportunity for us to share this thought with our donors. Don’t hesitate to let us know what you’d think of this option!
But without any advertisement or mailing list purchase, how does the Brotherhood with Iraq raise funds?
The association’s members take part in dozens of fundraising conferences each year, which also give them the opportunity to give French people updates about the situation on the field. We also regularly address the media (written press, audiovisual media, social media…) to remind everyone of the situation faced by Iraqi Christians and minorities. And our donors get to see their contributions turn into real, regular projects in Iraq, which strengthens their commitment. We try to keep a very close relationship with them through conferences, where our speakers happily answer all questions. And we also try to be reactive when questions are sent by email. In 2015, the headlines weren’t as generous about the situation in Iraq as they were in 2014 (with ISIS’ invasion).
How did you manage to raise 752.533 euros despite this challenge?
In 2015, more and more donors have trusted the Brotherhood with Iraq. Their commitment allowed us to raise more funds than in 2014, even though Iraq was no longer making the headlines. Almost 96% of the funds raised by the Brotherhood with Iraq came from private donors (individuals or foundations). A steady base compared to 2014. However, we note an increase in contributions coming from foundations: it now comes close to 39% of donations compared to 30% in 2014! In 2014, we faced an emergency situation with the arrival of ISIS, and the exodus of the populations from the Niniveh plain. In 2015, the most important thing to do was to build a future for the refugees we help, most of them now located in Iraqi Kurdistan. Thus, in the 2015 allocation of our resources, there is an increase in the Education section (33% of expenses), and a new section for “Employment support”, which amounts to 21% of our expenses. The success of the construction of the El Bichara church in Ashti camp, in Erbil, whose cost amounted to 113.000 euros, highlighted the importance to think with a development mindset.
In your summary of accounts, 59.202 euros are marked as surplus. Why?
This surplus comes from two factors:
- In 2014, we faced vital humanitarian emergencies. Thanks to your generosity, we have always been able to land back on our feet and re-balance the budget to address the dramatic refugee situation in the Niniveh plain. In 2015, we no longer faced the same emergency situation, but we thought it might be safer to keep a 75.000-euro reserve this year again, to cover unpredictable needs that might arise from the country’s instability.
- Furthermore, we have received many donations in November and December 2015. These donations were used to fund the many projects we carried during the first trimester of 2016. That’s why our summary of accounts shows a 59.202-euro surplus on December 31, 2015.
Isn’t it too much of a burden for the members of the association to pay for all their trip expenses?
Each members of the Brotherhood with Iraq pays his or her own plane tickets. Fortunately, because this expense contributes to the action of the Brotherhood with Iraq, the total amount of the ticket is considered an in-kind donation to the association, which makes it 66% tax deductible. For our members, it is an effort and a personal contribution for the populations we help. Sometimes, very exceptionally, when someone can’t afford to pay for a plane ticket, other members come to help so that money isn’t an obstacle. Housing and food in Iraq are also covered by our volunteers, which is a sign of involvement and motivation.
Do you have other questions? Don’t hesitate to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org