Charity membership body, Acevo, has recorded its first surplus for half a decade, despite its income having fallen by a further £250,000, its latest annual report and accounts have shown.
Published today, the accounts reveal a more positive outlook for the membership body, which was previously battling with a bulging deficit and regular drops in income, membership levels and reserves.
The body’s unrestricted surplus now stands at £67,000, compared to a deficit of £158,000 in 2017, bringing the charity’s reserves back in line with its reserves policy.
Over the year to 31 March 2018, Acevo’s income continued to fall by almost £250,000 from £1.1m down to £888,130. However, its expenditure also fell in line with income, from £1.26m down to £826,222, pulling the trigger on the first surplus for five years.
The main drop in income came from the loss of Acevo’s consultancy service, Acevo Solutions, which was a loss-making business and closed in 2017. Meanwhile, membership income dropped from £476,000 down to £462,000 and the number of members fell from 1,165 to 1,105 due to the ending of some bulk memberships.
The membership body has reported continual losses for years, but has reported a marked improvement in finances since the appointment of Vicky Browning as its chief executive in January 2017.
According to the accounts, Browning took home £71,990 over the reporting year, which compares to roughly £107,000 earned by her predecessor Sir Stephen Bubb.
“Like many charity CEOs, I have been determined to focus on our core purpose – in our case connecting, championing and supporting our sector’s leaders – and cut out non-core activities. And again like most CEOs, I’ve not compromised when addressing our cost base,” Browning said.
“Having closed our loss-making business consultancy service, our overall income is lower, but the organisation has delivered a surplus for the first time in five years, allowing us to replenish reserves in line with our reserves policy.
“I believe the sector needs Acevo. Investing in our leaders – whether through encouraging peer support and sharing good practice, offering leadership development opportunities or reinforcing leaders’ mental health and resilience – is an effective way of both protecting and increasing the impact of civil society.”
Acevo chair Joe Irvin added: “Our latest annual report and accounts reflect the hard work that the staff and trustees have put in to stabilise and re-energise Acevo over the last 12 months.
"With a renewed vision, purpose and values, and having generated a budget surplus for the first time in five years, I am excited by the possibilities ahead to further support our inspirational network of members.”